The head of Nokia India’s Chennai plant, which has become the focal point of a Rs. 21,000-crore tax dispute, has put in his papers, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter.

Prakash Kamata, who had first joined the company close to fourteen years ago, was Director, Operations of Nokia’s Chennai facility.

His resignation comes at a time when the plant, which employs close to 8,000 people, faces an uncertain future as tax authorities have blocked it from becoming a part of the sale of Nokia’s handset business to the U.S software giant Microsoft.

“Mr. Kamata was part of the team that set up the plant initially in 2006. Its quite shocking that he has left… it shows how bad the situation has gotten,” said a Nokia India shop floor manager, who did not want to be identified.

When contacted, a Nokia spokesperson confirmed the development.

“We are pleased to confirm that V. Sembian, who formerly worked at the Chennai factory as head of product and process engineering, will be the new director for Chennai, effective immediately,” the spokesperson said.

“Prakash Kamata will stay with us in a consultancy role for a fixed period of time. We wish him well in his future endeavours,” the spokesperson added.

Nokia, had, last week, started offering a voluntary retirement scheme to its Chennai plant workers. The employees had, last month, staged a one-day hunger strike, looking to draw awareness to their plight.

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