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Striking diamond worker shot dead

Violent protest: A firefighter in action at the protest site in Bhavnagar on Sunday.

Violent protest: A firefighter in action at the protest site in Bhavnagar on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: AP

Manas Dasgupta

Security guards of diamond cutting units in Bhavnagar open fire on agitators

AHMEDABAD: A diamond worker was killed and another seriously injured in a firing at Bhavnagar in the Saurashtra region of Gujarat on Sunday as their two-day agitation for higher wages turned violent.

The police said a group of diamond workers in Bhavnagar attacked some diamond cutting units in Kumudwadi area in the city, damaged glass panes and set ablaze some vehicles of the unit owners parked outside. The private security guards fired three rounds at the mob, killing one person and seriously injuring another.

Unconfirmed reports said two persons were killed in the firing, but Bhavnagar Collector Pradip Shah confirmed only one dead and another injured. He, however, said the condition of the injured was “very critical.”

At least 45 workers were injured in the stampede that followed the firing, stone throwing and police lathi charge. Some security guards and staff of the management were injured in the stone-throwing.

The police later resorted to lathi-charge to disperse the workers and arrested the security guard who opened fire.The agitation by the diamond cutting workers have spread to Rajkot, Junagadh, Palanpur and other areas in the State. In a bid to break the impasse, the Surat Diamond Industries Association announced a 20 per cent hike in the wages with immediate effect.

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