According to various provisions of the Odisha Industrial Security Force Bill, 2012, the proposed Industrial Security Force personnel can arrest a person without any warrant and, even, without any order from a magistrate. The bill also empowers the force to search a person or somebody’s house even without any warrant.
With the DGM of an industry in Bolangir torched by a group of aggrieved workers and cases of attack on top ranking officials in some other industrial units have also been reported, Odisha Assembly today passed the Odisha Industrial Security Force Bill, 2012 for establishment of a specialised force. The primary objective of the bill is to ensure safety and security inside industrial campuses and hubs.
Introduced by housing and urban development minister Raghunath Mohanty on behalf of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the bill was passed through voice vote without any discussion or debate. ‘The government didn’t even consider our notice for some amendments in the bill,” said Bhupinder Singh, Leader of opposition Congress party in the Odisha Legislative Assembly.
While the introducer Minister Raghunath Mohanty, in his statement explained that the Odisha Industrial Security Force will provide adequate and full-proof security to industrial units, concerned citizens believe that certain clauses in the Bill would have draconian impact on the people who raise voice against any injustice or exploitation by authorities in various industries.
According to various provisions of the Bill, the proposed Industrial Security Force personnel can arrest a person without any warrant and, even, without any order from a magistrate. The bill also empowers the force to search a person or somebody’s house without a warrant. “The bill seems to have been designed to curb the worker’s movements in different industries and people’s movements against various industrial projects,” said Vivekanand Dash, senior journalist and Editor of Odia fortnightly Janatantra adding that the bill would act as an umbrella for the industries and corporate houses to further exploit its workers.
However, the government justifies its move of bringing such a draconian bill saying that the existing state police force is too much pressured to meet the need of industrial undertakings and deal with multiple duties and responsibilities. On financial module of organising the force, Minister Raghunath Mohanty said that the cost of building the force is to be borne by the industries. Mohanty also said that the bill would provide employment opportunities to about 20,000 youth of the state.
‘Are police and security service sectors the only potential areas for employment? Or, the government is trying to engage the youth of Odisha against innocent people who dare to raise their voice against exploitations by the corporate houses?’ questioned Vivekanand Dash saying that 'instead of resolving the issues of people in the industrial units and clusters, the government is now taking role of a security service agent for the corporate houses to suppress the voice of workers inside the industries.'
The piece first appeared on August 29, 2012, at the HotnHitNews.