Workers of Mirzapur held a huge strike on 30 July to demand revoking of criminal cases slapped against Jeera Bharti and arrest of the dominant caste feudal landlord accused of leading the assault on Jeera Bharti. On 30 July AIPWA, AIARLA and CPI (ML) took out a protest march and held a meeting in Jeera Bharti’s home village Rikshakhurd. Workers in large numbers marched through difficult hilly terrain and arrived at Com Jeera’s village where a meeting was organized close to the spot where the assault had taken place.

Addressing the meeting, AIPWA State President Krishna Adhikari said that after the Yogi government came to power in Uttar Pradesh the morale of the local dominant and feudal powers is on a huge high because they have open protection from the rulers; that is the reason for the increase in attacks on the poor, workers, adivasis, women, and dalits and for the refusal of the thanas and courts to even hear their side of the case. Com Krishna further said that Jeera Bharti is a dalit and also a woman; she has challenged the dominant feudal forces on the issue of wages for the poor. Therefore she has been a victim of feudal as well as patriarchal dominance. Com Krishna said that today the workers have raised their voices through this one-day strike and have proved that the organized unity of the workers is much stronger than the feudal forces.

CPI (ML) State Secretary Com Sudhakar Yadav said that in the 3 months of Yogi rule dalits and minorities are being aggressively oppressed in an organized manner in order to carry forward the politics of the Hindutva agenda. Com Sudhakar pointed out that CM Yogi has not visited any of the places from Saharanpur to Mirzapur where brutal attacks have been made on dalits; on the other hand, he sent soaps to dalits so that they can ‘purify’ themselves—this is a huge insult to the entire dalit community. He further said that if the administration does not revoke the criminal cases slapped on Jeera Bharti and arrest the named accused in the sexual attack on her, this workers’ strike will take the form of a State-wide strike and protests will be held in the capital Lucknow for our rights.

The meeting was also addressed by AIPWA State Secretary Comrade Kusum Verma, AIARLA District Secretary Com Suresh Kaul, CPI (ML) Chandauli District Secretary Com Shashikant Kushwaha, Bhadohi District Secretary Com Ranjit Yadav, Allahabad in-charge Com Radheshyam Maurya, Kisan Mahasabha District VP Com Om Prakash Patel, Block Secretary Basant Kaul, AIPWA Mirzapur District Secretary Com Shanti Kaul, President Com Shyamkali and Com Rita. The proceedings of the meeting were conducted by AISA State Secretary Com Sunil Maurya and presided over by Com Jeera Bharti. At the conclusion of the meeting a 7-point charter of demands was submittd to the Governor through the SDM Savita Yadav.