Demand comes after Monday’s killing of former worker by jawan

The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) has come under sharp criticism for the mindless act of one of its jawans — gunning down a former contract workman in front of Mine-II of the Neyveli Lignite Corporation — on Monday.

Following the incident, trade unions and political parties raised their voice seeking scaling down of CISF personnel or their total withdrawal from the NLC.

During tripartite talks held here on Tuesday, NLC-recognised trade unions such as the Anna Workers and Staff Union (AWSU) and the Labour Progressive Front (LPF) gave suggestions for carrying out far-reaching reforms in the CISF.

Rama. Udayakumar, secretary of the AWSU, who participated in the talks, told The Hindu that Deputy Inspector-General (CISF) Anand Mohan gave a patient hearing to their suggestions and agreed to concede some of their demands.

The trade unions put forth the view that the CISF should not post gun-totting personnel at the gate of the mines and thermal power stations. Instead, it could set up gun rooms as found in police stations where arms and ammunition could be safely and securely kept and accessed whenever situation warranted.

Keeping trigger-happy armed guards at the gate might result in incidents such as the one that occurred on Monday in which CISF jawan K. Mohammad Nuwan (24), a native of Gaya in Bihar, shot down M. Raja alias Rajkumar (35).

(The jawan was booked for murder and lodged in the Cuddalore Central Prison).

When the trade unions demanded the transfer of all CISF personnel on duty at Mine-II on the fateful day, the DIG told them that they would be deployed for election duty.

Ever since the incident, Mine-II has come under police security. Such a step has been taken to assuage the feelings of NLC employees and instil confidence in them about their safety.

S. Rajavanniyan, general secretary of the LPF, said that ever since the induction of the CISF in the NLC on May 18, 1994, friction between the personnel and employees had become common.

The NLC was spending about Rs. 500 crore a year, about 20 per cent of its annual profits, for providing facilities to the CISF. But, it was ironical that instead of providing security to the critical installations, the personnel were posing threat to the lives of employees.

Therefore, Mr. Rajavanniyan sought the withdrawal of the CISF from the NLC and revival of the NLC security forces.

The trade unions also suggested use of rubber bullets in guns to avoid casualty even at the time of any provocation.

The unions also pointed out that since majority of the CISF personnel were drawn from north India, there existed a language barrier that hampered communication and resulted in frequent altercations between them and the employees.

Therefore, the unions made a plea to the DIG to induct adequate number of personnel from Tamil Nadu into the CISF.

Workers stage stir, held

Members owing allegiance to Puthiya Jananayaga Thozhilar Munnani on Tuesday staged a protest in front of the Assistant Commissioner of Central Labour Office at Reddiarpalayam, protesting against the killing of Rajkumar, a worker of Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC), by a jawan of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).

Sources said that as many as 25 workers who took part in the agitation shouted slogans against the CISF for using force to control the workers when they tried to seek justice for killing a fellow worker. The protesting workers urged the Union government to take strict action against the jawan who killed Rajkumar. They also demanded the recall of CISF from NLC.

Since they didn’t get permission for staging a protest, police arrested al of them.