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Hundreds rally in Baloda Bazar, Total strike at ACC Bhilai! Release trade union leader Comrade Bhagwati Sahu!!

On 10th December, Human Rights Day, ACC-Holcim cement factory at
Bhilai remained on near total strike in support of the demand to
release Comrade Bhagwati Sahu, a leader of the militant contract
workers union Pragatisheel Cement Shramik Sangh. The workers of SAV
Steel also went on a sympathetic strike. Hundreds of workers took out
a rally from Niyogiji’s statue in Bhilai to Ambedkar Chowk where they
garlanded the statue of Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar. Traffic came to a
standstill at the Ambedkar Chowk on the Nagpur-Raipur National Highway
for a good 15-20 minutes as the rally passed. Then the workers handed
over a Memorandum bearing thousands of signatures for the Governor to
the Sub Divisional Magaistrate Chhaoni demanding the release of Com.
Bhagwati Sahu.

At Baloda Bazar, the local administration which is very much hand in
glove with the giant Swiss multinational Holcim had not granted
permission for a Rally on 10th Decemember. Despite this, hundreds of
peasants and workers from the nearby villages, a majority of them
women, and also women from the working class bastis of Raipur reached
there. They took out a huge rally from Dussehra Maidan to Garden Chowk
and held a meeting. A large number of Panches and Sarpanches of
surrounding villagers spoke to raise the grievance of the peasants and
wokers against Ambuja-Holcim and demanded the release of Bhagwati
Sahu. Comrade CR Bakshi representing the Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan
was the main speaker at the meeting.Since the senior administrative
officers had all vanished, they
then marched to the Police Station and handed over a Memorandum signed
by thousands of persons to the Town Inspector to be reached to the
Govermor demanding the release of Comrade Bhagwati Sahu.

About 244 persons from all over the country and abroad, had signed the
E petition for the release of Bhagati Sahu, and several organisations
of Madhya Pradesh had also sent faxes to the Governor on 10th
December. Unfortunately neither of the programmes in Bhilai, or Baloda
Bazar was given any coverage in the local newspapers

Sudha Bharadwaj, Ramakant Banjare, Rajkumar Sahu, Kaladas Dehariya,
Bansi Sahu, Saraswati Sahu, Pinki Verma, Deenbandhu Dewangan

On behalf of Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha (Mazdoor Karyakarta Committee)