FIR against 100 Asha workers for Jantar Mantar protest
The Delhi Police on Tuesday filed a case against more than 100 Asha workers as well as members of Central Trade Unions for holding a protest at Jantar Mantar on Sunday in contravention of the Unlock 3 guidelines in effect to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Accredited Social Health Activists (Asha) have been crucial in the fight against the disease, and a majority of them in the city have been on strike since July 21, demanding better wages.
They were booked for holding protests without permission and “violating social distancing norms” at the protest.
The FIR was registered at the Parliament Street police station under Section 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code, Section 3 of the Epidemic Disease Act and Section 51B of the Disaster Management Act, said deputy commissioner of police (New Delhi) Eish Singhal.
Singhal, who is also a spokesperson for the city police, said more than 100 Asha workers and members of Central Trade Unions had gathered at Jantar Mantar to protest on Sunday noon. He said the police went to the protest spot and informed them no such protest or gathering was allowed in the city, as per the Unlock 3.0 guidelines.
The protesters, however, claimed they had got permits from authorities concerned.
“When the protesters were asked to produce the permission letter they failed to do it. They were convinced, and they left Jantar Mantar after around half an hour, assuring they would submit the letter on Monday. However, nobody turned up on Monday, after which the FIR was registered,” Singhal added.
The protest at Jantar Mantar was organised by the All India United Traders Union Centre (AIUTUC) against privatisation in all government sectors and scheme workers such as Ashas being denied salary and position of a regular worker.
Delhi ASHA Workers’ Association (DAWA) had participated in the strike. DAWA has been demanding that the monthly salary for an Asha worker in Delhi be hiked to ₹10,000 from ₹4,000 currently.
Kavita Yadav, Delhi coordinator for Asha workers, All India United Traders Union Centre (AIUTUC), said, “We have not been informed by the Delhi Police about any FIR registered against us, and are trying to find out details. If the police have registered a FIR, it is extremely unfortunate and we condemn it.”
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