Mounting pressure on State government in connection with the blast in Bhushan Steel Plant premise in Dhenkanal district further, all central trade unions hereon Friday staged demonstration and demanded a judicial probe for going into details of casualties, violation of labour laws, factory acts and other safety guidelines.

The trade unions those participated in the demonstration included Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), All India United Trade Union Centre (AIUTUC) and All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU).

Leaders of these unions had visited Bhushan Steel Plant on a fact finding mission on November 19 last.

“The State government’s version on casualties caused by blast on Bhushan premise is totally false. The casualties must have been more than hundred. In such a terrible blast, most of labourers deployed during commissioning of blast furnace II would have died. It is difficult to believe that the casualties remained in single digit,” said Mahendra Parida of AICCTU.

Mr. Parida said there was no record as to how many workers were working in that site. “There were serious lapses on part of the Labour Department and Directorate of Factories and Boilers. There was no proper inspection by labour officer and factory safety inspector of Directorate of Factories and boilers to ascertain labour laws and safety guidelines were followed,” he alleged.

AITUC General secretary Souribandhu Kar said the BSL authorities continued their operation violating all laws and the State government was colluding with them. The central trade unions submitted 11-point charter of demands. Leaders said proper departmental punishment of the labour officers who had neglected their duties and failed to implement in the laws. They demanded compensation of Rs. 20 lakh to the family members of victims and Rs. 10 lakh for injured employees. .