Employee’s death in NLC mine sparks row

Special Correspondent

CISF personnel attack trade unionists

CUDDALORE: A scuffle ensued between the trade unionists and the Central Industrial Security Forces personnel at Neyveli Lignite Corporation following an accident at Mine-I that claimed the life of an employee on Thursday.

While Sakthivel (41), employed in the gravel yard of Mine-I, was returning home after the first shift an NLC-owned lorry collided head on with his moped, causing his instantaneous death.

On information president of the Labour Progressive Front (LPF-an NLC recognised union) Veera Ramachandran along with LPF office secretary Kathavarayan and a group of union members went to the spot.

LPF sources said that however, before reaching the accident site the CISF personnel posted there not only halted them but also asked them to disperse. However, the union leaders asserted their rights to see the victim. This led to heated exchanges and when the trade unionists stayed put there the CISF personnel beat them up with lathis and chased them away.

In the melee union members sustained injuries, the sources said. Infuriated by the CISF action the LPF leaders went to the office of Chief General Manager (Mines) Kandasamy to seek action against those CISF personnel who behaved in a brutal manner. Sources further said that the union leaders and members got worked up when Mr.Kandasamy told them that he could not do any thing about it and therefore he directed them to meet the higher-ups. Hearing about the incident all the trade union leaders and members assembled there in good strength and expressed their solidarity with the LPF. They sought disciplinary action against the CISF personnel who unleashed violence against the union office-bearers and members. Later, higher officials called the union leaders for a talk. Police sources said that the body of Sakthivel was kept in the mortuary of the NLC general hospital and tomorrow it would be taken to the Panruti government hospital for post-mortem before handing it over to the kin. A case has been registered in this connection.

One version had it that the lorry was driven by a technician and not the regular driver.

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