A magisterial probe has begun into the violence by workers of a private factory in Yanam, an enclave of Puducherry in Andhra Pradesh, that led to the lynching of a top official of the unit after a union leader allegedly died in police action.
The management of violence-hit Regency Ceramics, a tile manufacturing unit, has however demanded a CBI probe.
Sources in Puducherry said prohibitory orders under section 144 CrPC were clamped in the area.
The frenzied workers of the Regency Ceramics went on the rampage on Friday after their leader M.S. Murali Mohan was allegedly killed in police action outside the factory and attacked the residence of president (Operations) K.C. Chandrasekhar, resulting in fatal head injuries.
Puducherry District Collector S.B. Deepak Kumar said the situation in Yanam, which has a population of 42,000, following the industrial violence was well under control now.
There was also extensive damages to the properties of the Ceramics factory, the company management said.
“Such a violent development had never been seen in Yanam at any time in the past,” said Opposition Congress legislator Malladi Krishna Rao representing Yanam seat in the Assembly.
Trouble had been brewing since January 2, with more than 800 contract workers staging daily protests demanding that the services of senior workers be regularised and wages revised.
Leading the protest, mr. Mohan went to the factory and tried to obstruct workers from going for the morning shift on Friday when he was allegedly hit by police with batons, causing chest injuries. He collapsed and was rushed to hospital, where he died, police said.
Police opened fire after using canes to disperse the violent workers who torched the vehicles of educational institutions run by the factory, electronic goods and other properties following the death of Mohan, a dismissed worker.
Nine persons had suffered bullet injuries in the firing, police said.
Official sources in Yanam said today that Deputy Tahsildar Markendayan had started the probe.
G N Naidu, chairman and managing director, Regency Ceramics demanded a CBI inquiry into the violence.
Mr. Naidu said his company has suffered huge losses.
“This (violence) was instigated by outsiders. There is need for detailed investigation. We are demanding CBI inquiry into the whole issue,” Mr. Naidu told PTI.
“Goons, in the guise of employees, attacked the factory and our president (who died in the attack). We are thinking whether to go for the production at all or not. Irreparable damage has been caused,” he said in Kakinada.
Krishna Rao said forces from AP had been deployed in Yanam to prevent escalation of violence.
Top police officials from Puducherry were also camping in the area.
The workers were on strike demanding regularising temporary workers, revision of wages and reinstatement of all the suspended and dismissed workers.
Mr. Rao said the management had obtained a court order restraining any gathering of people within 200 metres from the factory. The workers who attempted to prevent others from attending duty yesterday violated the police cordon and created violence, he said.
CPI Puducherry unit Secretary R. Viswanathan said the administration should order a judicial probe into the lathi charge and police firing as the ‘police action was repressive and deserved to be condemned’
AITUC (Puducherry unit) Deputy General Secretary I. Dinesh Ponniah said the government should hold a probe by a High Court Judge. He claimed that nine workers who suffered bullet injuries were in “critical” condition now.