A protest march was held at Meral Block under the CPI(ML) and Jharkhand General Mazdoor Union banners to protest against the death of two young migrant workers Munip Paswan and Kanchan Paswan from Rejo and Bana villages who were forced to migrate due to lack of jobs in their home State of Jharkhand. The march began from Meral High School and culminated in a meeting at the Block office after which a 7-point memorandum addressed to the Governor was submitted to the BDO. Addressing the meeting, CPI(ML) and JGMU leaders said that workers in Garhwa as well as other places in Jharkhand are dying needlessly by being forced to migrate in search of jobs despite being educated and holding job cards. In this particular incident, a death-dealing blast occurred at the crusher plant in the quarry village Hathivedgad (Bellary Road), Aluru Thana, Karnool Karnool District in Andhra Pradesh at 7 pm on 3 August killing 12 workers including Munip Paswan and Kanchan Paswan from Rejo and Bana villages and injuring Vikas Paswan and Dileep Kumar Sao.

The CPI(ML) team which met the family members of the victims said that the BJP government should be held accountable for the death of the workers as they could not be provided even a single day’s work despite having job cards and were forced to migrate in search of jobs. This exposes the anti-worker and anti-farmer face of the Raghuvar government in Jharkhand and the Modi government at the Centre as they are bent on making anti-worker and pro-corporate amendments in the Labour laws and also grabbing farmers’ lands and handing them over to corporate houses. The government is trying to hide their failure to work for the people by creating communal and caste polarization. But the people of the country and the State will not forgive them and will give a befitting reply in the 2019 elections. The following demands were made through the memorandum addressed to the Governor:

a. Speak to the Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh governments and the quarry owners and make them pay Rs 25 lakhs compensation to the families of victims Munip Paswan of village Rejo and Kanchan Paswan of village Bana; Rs 10 lakhs compensation to the injured victims.

b. Government jobs for the family members of the dead victims.

c. Action against the Jharkhand government for failure to provide employment and stop forced migration so that employment is guaranteed.

d. Jharkhand government must pay Rs 10 lakhs to each of the dead victims’ families.

e. Regular work and Rs 500 minimum daily wage should be guaranteed under MNREGA.

f. The Raghuvar government in Jharkhand should bring pressure on the AP government to register a case of murder against the owner of the crusher plant.

g  Legal action against the crusher company responsible for deaths of workers at the workplace; Justice and compensation for the dead victims and compensation and proper treatment for the injured victims.

In this matter, the CPI(ML) State office has also sent a memorandum with the above demands to the Chief Minister.