Mahasweta writes to Hasina on jailed workers’ leaderBy IANS
Saturday, January 1, 2011
DHAKA - Magsaysay Award winning Indian writer Mahasweta Devi has in a letter to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed concern at the condition of garment workers’ leader Mushrefa Mishu and asked her to ensure justice to the detained woman.
“I am deeply perturbed by learning that Mishu has been arrested without warrant. She is now critically ill and admitted to hospital in custody,” Mahasveta Devi wrote to Hasina Dec 27.
She requested the prime minister to personally look into the matter as Mishu is seriously ill, the New Age said Saturday.
“We hold you in high esteem and we always feel proud of you. I never forgot that I was born in Bangladesh,” said the writer.
“It’s my earnest request that you look into the matter personally and ensure justice to Mishu. Be just to her, giving it importance that a female worker is fighting for the interests of fellow workers. This is my appeal to you,” she concluded.
Mushrefa Mishu, president of Garment Sramik Oikya Parishad, was picked up from her house in the early hours of Dec 14 by plainclothesmen.
They did not have an arrest warrant.
Mishu, who is a chronic asthma patient and suffers from a severe spinal injury caused by an attack on her several years ago, was not allowed to take her medication with her.
Media reports have said Mishu was presented in the court with handcuffs on.
She has been spearheading the workers’s agitation for implementation of revised wages for three million readymade garment industry workers, a bulk of them women.
Although the garment sector is the biggest money-spinner, earning $12 billion in foreign exchange last year, its workers are rated as the lowest paid in Asia by the US-based International Trade Union Congress (ITUC).