Puducherry, Jan 27: Large-scale violence broke out in Yanam, an enclave of Puducherry about 30 kms from Kakinada, following the death of a trade union leader of a ceramic private factory here, allegedly due to police beating, on Friday morning. Curfew has been imposed in the town, reports The Hindu.
M. S. Murali Mohan, the founder of the union, was picked up on Thursday night by Yanam police, reportedly on a complaint by the factory management against the workers, who have been agitating for better wages and staff regularisation for nearly one month.
Mr Murali was released a little while later. At 6 am on Friday, he went to the factory along with some workers and tried to obstruct those who were attending the morning shift.
Police personnel, who were present at the spot, are said to have attacked the trade union leader with lathis, resulting in serious injuries. He collapsed on the spot and was taken by police to the local hospital where he died.
As news of his death spread, factory workers torched nearly 50 buses and lorries owned by the company. Groups of workers entered the factory, while others rushed to a college run by the management. Few others staged a demonstration in the centre of the town.
A vice-president of the company, in-charge of operations, K. C. Chandrasekhar died after he was attacked by the workers at his residence resulting in head injuries. He was rushed to the Apollo Hospital at Kakinada where he breathed his last.
Local residents also joined hands with the workers and began ransacking the factory and the college premises. They took away computers, ceramic tiles and furniture.
Over a 100 Yanam police personnel rushed to the factory. The confrontation between the police and the agitating workers turned violent with the police opening fire.
Six persons were injured in the firing, and the condition of two is reportedly serious. Additional police forces from Andhra Pradesh have been rushed to Yanam from Kakinada to bring the situation under control.
Workers of factory have been agitating since January 1 demanding a hike in wages and regularisation of services of temporary staff.
There are about 1200 workers in the factory of which 800 are on contract. The trade union has been demanding the regularisation of at least to those who have put in 15 years of service.