CPIM writes to Rajnath Singh, demands withdrawal of Essential Defence Services Ordinance

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Communist Party of India (Marxist) Rajya Sabha MP Elamaram Kareem (file pic/ANI).
Communist Party of India (Marxist) Rajya Sabha MP Elamaram Kareem (file pic/ANI).

New Delhi [India], July 3 (ANI): Communist Party of India (Marxist) Rajya Sabha MP Elamaram Kareem on Saturday wrote to Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh demanding immediate withdrawal of the Essential Defence Services Ordinance, 2021 and said that the Ordinance is primarily intended to suppress the indefinite strike announced by the 76,000 employees of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB).

"According to this Ordinance, strike in the Defence sector is declared as illegal and it includes draconian provisions like dismissal from service without even an inquiry, arrest and imprisonment," Kareem's letter read.

The letter said that in the name of instigation of the strike, any person can be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years or with a fine which may extend to Rs 15,000 or with both.

"It gives power to any police officer to arrest without warrant any person who is reasonably suspected to have committed any offence under this Ordinance," it said.

He also said that the ordinance is against the ILO Conventions accepted by India and violative of the labour laws in force.

"The Government has used this power of the executive only to threaten the OFB employees and other defence civilian employees from taking part in any protests or strikes. This is an undemocratic as well as the anti-constitutional decision of the Union Government," he said.

"In this scenario, I would request you to urgently revisit this decision and withdraw the Essential Defence Services Ordinance, 2021 at the earliest. I also urge you to kindly do the needful for commencing dialogue with OFB employees on their demands and to step back from the decision to privatise the Ordnance Factories," he added in his letter.

The Essential Defence Services Ordinance, 2021 has come into force with effect from June 30. (ANI)

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