Colamine workers rights activists stage hunger strike

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SHANGLA: Coal miners and physically challenged workers in Shangla set up a hunger strike camp at Alpuri on Thursday asking the government to enact law for protection of their rights.

The protesters included those who were rendered handicapped in mine collapse incidents. They wore black bands on their arms.

They said the provincial government had promised enactment of legislation for the protection of coal mine workers’ rights and ensuring safety measures at their workplaces, but despite the passage of eight months the legislation was not even moved in the provincial assembly.
Ali Bhash Khan, Mian Sohrab, Muhammad Gul Shangla, Gulab Shahpuri and others spoke on the occasion.
Musa Yousafzai, a participant of the protest camp, said that since the government had made commitment for legislation, about 153 coal miners from Shangla working in various parts of the country had died.

He claimed that most of the incidents occurred due to negligence of mine inspectors, owners and contractors because they force the workers to go inside the mines without inspection and safety measures.

The protesters said that they would continue their strike until their demands were accepted.

Meanwhile, the Alpuri assistant commissioner asked the workers to end protest and assured them that their demands would be forwarded to the higher authorities, but they refused to call off their strike. The protesters also handed over a 16-point charter of demands on the occasion.

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