Imphal, Jan. 20: Women’s organisations today gave the state government five days to take action against a contractor who allegedly assaulted a woman worker of Imphal airport last month.
The contractor, Kangjam Nilabir, allegedly assaulted a cleaner identified as Amom Tembi on December 21 last year over the issue of non-payment of wages and her dismissal from the job.
Following a complaint to Singjamei police station that Nilabir had hit and kicked her when she demanded her wages and protested her removal, the contractor was arrested. However, the accused was released on bail by an Imphal court the next day. The release of Nilabir has angered women residing near the airport and other workers.
The workers staged a sit-in near the airport entrance on January 15 demanding punishment for the contractor, with local residents joining in the protest.
“The government should punish the contractor within five days. If they fail to do so, women’s organisations in Manipur will launch an agitation,” K. Memchoubi, a meira paibi community leader told reporters today.
“This is a crime against women and the matter should be taken very seriously by the government. We will not remain silent until the contractor is punished,” she said.
Tembi said she was assaulted because she demanded the payment of Rs 10,000 due to her and other workers.
Geeta Maibam, who supervises the workers, said the contractor was willing to pay only half of Rs 10,000 due as monthly wages, which the workers refused.
“When we reported for work on December 21, we found that we had been dismissed and some other workers had replaced us. When Tembi went to the contractor to lodge a complaint and demand the wages due to them, the contractor assaulted,” Maibam said.
The airport authority has given contracts for cleaning activities to contractors like Nilabir, who engage cleaners from time-to-time on contractual basis.
Police have maintained that the case is under investigation, while airport officials were not available for comment.