Sunday, 17 December 2017

The Punjab police unleashed a barbaric midnight attack on the anganwadi employees who were sleeping at the place of ‘mahapadav’ in Patiala in Punjab.

Thousands of anganwadi employees were on a peaceful protest against the indiscriminate opening of pre primary sections in government schools and the Direct Cash Transfer initiated by the Punjab government, as decided by the Government of India. These would ultimately lead to the closure of the anganwadi centres and sound the death knell for ICDS. The Anganwadi Mulajam Union, Punjab had given the call for a ‘mahapadav’ in Patiala against these measures, when repeated appeals to the government failed. The chief minister even went back on his promise to meet the union representatives.

The programme received overwhelming response from the anganwadi employees. Around ten thousand anganwadi employees were participating in the mahapadav from all over the state. They were all sleeping when the police, without any notice, used water cannon at midnight and started lathi charge on them. Many anganwadi employees including Usha Rani, president of AIFAWH were injured. Usha Rani and several other leaders of the union were arrested and taken into custody.

AIFAWH strongly condemns this cowardly act of the Punjab government which infringes upon the democratic rights of the people and demands immediate release of the arrested union leaders. We demand that the government should reverse its decision for Direct Cash Transfer and opening of nursery sections in the government schools. The chief minister should immediately call the union leadership for talks and settle their issues amicably through discussions.

AIFAWH calls upon all its state committees throughout the country to protest against this move and write to the Punjab CM demanding a dialogue with the union.

 Issued by
A R Sindhu
General Secretary