Northbrook jute mill to reopen today

A guard at the main gate of Northbrook Jute Co Ltd at Champdani in Hooghly district. File photo: Sushanta Patronobish  

The management of Northbrook Jute Co. Ltd, which was closed following the murder of the mill’s Chief Executive Officer in broad daylight on June 15, decided on Monday to reopen the factory from July 1.

The decision came hours after a worker of the closed jute mill forced by financial hardship allegedly committed suicide. Neighbours and family members of Amir Chandra Gupta (45), whose body was found on a railway track between the Bhadreshwar and Baidyabati stations, said it was the frequent closing of the mill which forced the 45-year-old worker of the weaving section to take the extreme step.

“Gupta had worked in the jute mill for 15 years. He was under severe depression because of the closing down of the mill. Since he was the lone earning member, the family was facing a lot of financial hardship,” Ramesh Shaw, a local Trinamool Congress councillor of Champdani Municipality told The Hindu over telephone.

Meanwhile, State Labour Minister Purnendu Basu said he was not aware of any suicide by the Nortbrook worker. The mill (Nortbrook) will reopen on Tuesday, the Minister said.

The century-old jute mill located at Champdani in Hooghly district has about 4,000 employees, whose fate was hanging in balance after the management declared suspension of work following the murder of CEO H K Maheshwari. While one death temporarily closed the ill-fated mill, the suicide by a worker re-opened it.

“It has been agreed that that the management will maintain status quo on the working condition in the jute mill. As far as the incident of violence in jute mill is concerned, the management can order a local investigation and take action appropriately,” the Minister told this newspaper.

The decision to reopen the mill was taken at a tripartite meeting at Sreerampore in the district during the day.

Mr. Basu said that Hanuman Jute Mill in Howrah district, which was closed a few weeks ago, also started functioning in the day.

The murder of the Northbrook Jute Co Ltd CEO, allegedly by agitating workers, had sent shock waves in the jute industry of the State. The State government handed over the investigation of Mr. Maheswari’s murder to the Criminal Investigation Department and eight persons were arrested.

Six jute mills closed down since the incident, of which three have been reopened.

“It is a very welcome development for all the workers that our mill is opening after a gap of 15 days of such an unfortunate incident. The mill will now remain open for 24 hours a day and all seven days a week,” Binay Kumar, a trade union leader of the mill said.

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Printable version | Apr 22, 2021 1:59:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/northbrook-jute-mill-to-reopen-today/article6165819.ece

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