KENDRAPADA: Workers stalled construction work at Essar steel plant in Paradip on Saturday to protest against the alleged attack on workers by security forces and hired goons on Friday. Thirty persons, including many workers of Essar were injured after many workers and security personnel clashed in front of the main gate. The incident took place after a tent of the workers was allegedly torched by security men near the main gate of the steel plant on Thursday night. On Saturday, many workers protested against the officials and security men over the torching the tents and sat on dharna in front of the main gate bringing construction work to a standstill.
Senior police officers rushed to the spot to take stock of the situation. “Two platoons of police have been deployed at the spot. Some workers filed FIR against the officials and security men of Essar steel plant and alleged that they were attacked by them. Police are investigating the case,” said Bhabani Shankar Mishra, the SDPO of Paradip. “Negotiations are going on to sort out the various issues through discussions with the agitated workers,” said a senior official of Essar Steel.
The contract labourers engaged in the construction work feel neglected by the company. Land losers also accuse the plant authorities of adopting anti-local policies in all appointments, said Toffan Swain, a trade union leader. “Many land losers have yet to receive compensation. We want the company to give priority to locals in employment and 70% reservation in technical posts. Our agitation will continue until our demand is fulfilled,” said Pramod Jena, a trade union leader.