A Correspondent

NEDUMBASSERY: Even as the State government has sought an end to the row over alleged irregularities in the employment and award of contract by Cochin International Airport Ltd. (CIAL), a section of employees of the company has contested the claim made by Fisheries Minister S. Sarma. In a statement, the Cochin International Airport Staff Association reiterated its claim that the CIAL had violated its recruitment and promotion policy by carrying out “backdoor” recruitments. As against the Minister's contention that a third of the CIAL employees comprised the family members of the evictees, only five had been selected from this category out of the over 140 appointments made during the term of the present government, the association said.

The union alleged that the staff officers hired for the various departments, including public relations, were not eligible as per the qualifications prescribed in the advertisements given by the CIAL.

The Minister — also a member of the CIAL director board — had said during the inauguration of the CIAL golf course that the appointments by the airport company were carried out in a transparent manner and described the media reports in this regard as baseless. He had challenged the protesters to prove their stand.