Dot Com News Bureau
22 May. 04:
Police open fired
eight consecutive rounds to control the clash between two groups of
contract labours backed by the CPI-M and the Trinamul Congress here early this morning. The
labours engaged in clash after the closed CPSU Jessop foundry resumed operation under a
joint venture participation yesterday. The police arrested six TMC
The ASP, Sunil Halder rushed to the factory gate with police officials from four police Stations soon after the tension mounted in the area. The SDO, Osman Ghani
also reached the place and declared 144 CRPC on the Sanjeev Sarani stretch where the factory is located. Seven CPI-M supporters sustained injury when the
TMC men threw stone on them. Eight TMC men were also injured when the police lathi
charged. The condition of Mithun Roy, a CPI-M activist was
reported to be critical. Mr. Ghani said, ‘neither the parties nor the factory authority had sought
assistance of the administration although the area had been recurring with acute tension following recruitment of contract
labours in the factory since past few days.’ He added, ‘it was the
TMC councilor of the area who had informed me over phone that there was a possibility of
disorder last evening. I had intimated the police to take preventive measure.’ The local MLA, Mr. Apurba Mukherjee also rushed to the spot and alleged biased police action.
The Jessop foundry succumbed to sickness and was finally liquidated on 31 March 2001. The factory on 117 acres of area got a chance of survival after the Kotak group head Mr. Pawan Ruia agreed a
joint venture participation with the CPSU major. The Kotak group has bagged substantial Indian Railway orders and had planned to start a steel foundry to help manufacturing railway equipment. For the purpose, the present Jessop authority had engaged a contractor to help cleaning operation inside the factory premises that was left abandoned since 2001. The contractor to execute the cleaning operation had engaged 25 wage
labours and incidentally the entire strength was contributed by the CPI-M. The
TMC demanded a proportionate share in labour recruitment and that allegedly was refused by the contractor. The area falls under ward 30 of the Durgapur Municipal Corporation that elected the lone Trinamul Congress councilor in the last civic body election. The local councilor,
Mr. Biswanath Parial, to show his muscle flexing had threatened the Jessop authority and the concerned contractor yesterday that if 40 percent of the total required
labours are not absorbed from the Trinamul Congress, the authority would have to face the consequences. The contractor, Mr. Monu Saha said, ‘they even raided my office yesterday and threatened to teach me a lesson.’ A Jessop official who was staying at a hotel here was also threatened by the Trinamul, the Jessop authority claimed.
The labours engaged by the contractor were attacked allegedly by the Trinamul Congress mass while entering the factory at about
6.30am today. A handful of policemen preset in the factory gate to prevent chaos failed to act properly and additional force was sought. The Trinamul leader and MLA, Mr. Apurba Mukherjee alleged, ‘the factories operating here maintain a 60:40 ratio
in favour of CPI-M and Trinamul Congress since years. The CPI-M did not allow the same at Jessop and started contributing wage earners from their own stock and the Trinamul men were refused entry. This instigated tension in the area.’ The Jessop authority incharge, Mr.
A. K. Dasgupta said, ‘the chaos occurred outside the factory premises but it has hampered the work progress certainly. We have intimated the matter to the higher officials at Kolkata.’ The district
CITU leader and chairman WBSIDC, Mr. B. K. Chakraborty alleged, ‘the Durgapur belt witnessed
successive collapse of CPSU behemoths in past few years. When an industry is trying to resume work further, the hoodlums backed by the Trinamul has started disturbing it. We wont allow any sort of vandalism further.’ The SDO later convened a tripartite meting with the political parties and the factory authority this evening to prepare a strategy to help a peaceful absorption in Jessop.