Release domestic help held for theft or face protests

 

The Trade Union Coordination Centre (TUCC) members issued a warning to the district authorities on Friday, saying that they will block traffic, if Noorjahan — a domestic help arrested on theft charges — is not released by May 31. The union has organised a mega rally outside the DC office on Friday morning.

In a unique diktat, the TUCC members are asking for the release of the domestic help who was caught red-handed while stealing a gold ring. Noorjahan, who confessed her crime, had later tried to strike a deal with her employees by saying that she will give them a ring that she had stolen from another house.

Bitten Kumar, in-charge of Jagatpuri police station, said: “The matter did not end here. When the owner refused to accept someone else’s ring, the domestic help brought gold tops to avoid police action against her. Noorjahan also returned other items that she had stolen from the house. Later, she sought help from TUCC. After the police inquiry, Noorjahan was found guilty and an FIR registered against her. She is now in jail.”

District president of TUCC, Ram Khelawan Yadav, said: “She was not paid her monthly wages. Moreover, domestic helps are being troubled by the owners of big houses. So, our struggle is against all of them. Until the case is withdrawn, we will not stop our protest.”

“Domestic helps are denied off days and asked to work round-the-clock. They are not even given proper meals. When workers talk about their rights, the owners get police complaints registered against them. Many of our workers are facing ‘false’ police cases and they need to be withdrawn,” he added.

The union also voiced the woes of the factory workers, who are asked to work for more than 12 hours and paid no more than Rs 4,000 per month.

Under MNREGA, a worker should receive Rs 3,800 per month, for an eight-hour day job. “The situation in powerloom factories is the worst. The health of the workers is at risk and the employees are given very low wages,” said Yadav.

Hari Singh, another union leader, said that apart from levelling false charges, the landlords treat the domestic helps like second class citizens. Interestingly, Hari Singh himself has been implicated in two police cases and was even declared PO by the police. He was in jail for three months.
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