A large section of employees of a jute mill at Bauria beat up policemen, a senior district official, damaged police vehicles and set offices of the mill in fire after the authorities failed to give assurances on clearing their due payments.
Police said that on Tuesday morning there was meeting between the representatives of the employees with the authorities of Bauria Jute Mill over clearing of due payments. The mill authorities have not cleared their payments for the past few months as well as the bonus that they were supposed to get ahead of Durga Puja.
The authorities have even failed to give any clear indication in Tuesday’s meeting that when their dues will be cleared and it led to the incident. The workers initiated a demonstration and an altercation broke out with a senior official of the mill when the workers were shouting slogans. The workers damaged valuables and furniture in the office of the manager.
A large contingent of police was pressed and they allegedly resorted to lathicharge to disperse the mob. But the workers retaliated and pelted stones at the police. The situation turned worse when one of the workers fell injured after being beaten up by the police. The workers beat up Soleman Hossain, a senior district official, who went to the official to settle the dispute and damaged his car.
Some policemen were injured in the clash. The injured policemen and the workers were admitted to hospital.
The mill authorities, however, put up suspension of work notice for an indefinite period following the incident. Around 2000 people lost job with the closure of the mill.
There was mixed reaction on the closure of the mill. A section of workers criticised the move of their representatives that led to the clash and said that it was better that the factory was running. While another section of workers said that what was the need to keeping the factory open when no one was getting payment. It may be mentioned that senior official of a jute mill in Hooghly was beaten to death two years ago following a labour unrest.
Thus the district administration has started taking necessary steps before the situation in Bauria Jute Mill deteriorates further.