Struggle on NREGA at Jamua

In Jamua, Giridih district of Jharkhand , CPIML and AIPWA have been trying to organise workers who have been denied their wages. On 8th July at Bagodar, Saria, Birni, Rajdhanwar and Jamua militant gherao-demonstrations were held to demand food-grains for poor women at nominal rates, checking of corruption in PDS and payment of NREGA wage. At Bagodar the gherao-demonstration was led by AIPWA leader Poonam Mahato. The BDO here rarely attended office and he was forcibly brought to his office from his house by a group of 150-200 women In Saria, Renu Rawani led the gherao of the Block. In Rajdhanwar the gherao of BDO led by Kaushalya Das. Here women activists and workers occupied the BDO’s official chair and did allow him to sit for two hours till their issues were dealt with. In Birni a successful programme was led by Rina Gupta and in Jamua the gherao was led by Mina Das.

In Jamua when even 14 months after having completed NREGA work and six months of persuasion by the workers to deal with the recalcitrant bureaucracy, contractor, politician nexus did not bear fruit, they approached CPIML and AIPWA who then confronted the BDO for an explanation. The BDO went into a rage at being questioned on NREGA corruption by women workers and she along with the DSP of Jamua instead of resolving the workers issues, slapped false cases against those leading the movement against NREGA irregularities and corruption. Amongst those charged were Com. Mina Das who has been leading the expose on black marketing of PDS items, against NREGA corruption and building a movement for wages and against police repression. The police raided the house of Mina Das and verbally abused the members of her house.

However what the bureaucracy had not anticipated was that their terror tactics would fail and people would start coming out in ever larger numbers to protest against them. The day after the incident 300 people demonstrated and a thana ghearo was led by a mobilised group of 400 people. Women participated in large numbers in these protests defeating the administration’s ploy of trying to scare women with repression. The protest of 6th August was led by Com. Sunita- National Secretary of AIPWA, Renu Rawani and Kaushalya Das. Apart from demanding immediate release of Mina Das and other leaders, they also demanded filing of a case against the BDO of Jamua. Protests, followed wherever the BDO went and she was repeatedly confronted by the women workers.

The MLA had to intervene and the SDO was forced to arrive and give reply on the matter. The protests led to the release of all those people who had been arrested and detained without having any charges slapped against them. 

Liberation Archive