Udupi: Sugar Factory Workers protest upon suicide of a worker

Brahmavar, 27 May 2011: Lack of actions by the people representatives, management’s inability and government not following the court order has taken one more worker’s life. Dinesh Shetty (45) a worker of the Cooperative Sugar Factory which is closed down due to losses, has killed himself by hanging at the quarters of the factory on Thursday morning due to financial difficulties. With this the total deaths of workers due to financial difficulties has raised to 6.

Dinesh Shetty has his mother, wife Jyothi and two children Nagaraja and Nagarathna both are blind since birth. He was working as a boiler in the sugar factory, but after the sugar factory closed down in April 2006, he was working as building painter. He alone is the earning member and had to feed 5 members of the family.

While he was working in the sugar factory he had taken loan from the Bank, but before clearing the loan the factory was closed. Without salary from factory he could not repay the loan, but many times notice had come from the Bank and recently summons was issued. Aged mother, helpless wife, handicap children, all these difficulties made him to take this extreme step.

Hearing this news, the other workers who too had lost job became angry. They came, took their colleague’s body and placed on the National Highway in front of the factory and protested. For few minutes the Highway was blocked as they shouted slogans against the sugar factory management. Later the police came to the spot and moved the protesters away.

Sugar Factory which is closed in 2006 for loss, had kept 4 – 5 years salaries of 217 workers amounting 5 crores rupees pending. Workers like Dinesh Shetty were waiting with a hope to receive the pending salary soon. Together they had appealed in the court. On 24th August 2010 high court had given order to the government to pay the dues within 6 months. But the government did not care for the workers and as a result so far Dinesh Shetty and other 5 workers have chosen to die. About 20 more people have died due to sickness having no money for treatment. If these workers are treated the same way they do not have any option but to loose their life.

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