KOTHAGUDEM/PEDAPALLI/ADILABAD: The bandh call given by the Singareni Collieries Company Limited (SCCL) workers in protest against the arrest of their leaders and workers on Saturday, has further intensified tensions in Kothagudem town.
There was a tiff between the opposition parties and police over taking out a rally in support of the indefinite strike undertaken by SCCL workers for the past three days. As activists of TDP, CPI, Congress and company workers gathered to take out rally in Kothagudem, the police asked them to disperse as they did not have permission for it. A war of words broke out and within few minutes it turned physical with the two groups pushing each other. Police who were present in full strength overpowered the agitators and took many of them into custody. The arrested leaders were shifted to 1 Town and 3 Town police stations and later released.
SCCL stands ground
SCCL authorities and Telangana Boggugani Karmika Sangam tried to convince the coal workers to call off the strike. As a part of the precautionary measures at the underground mines and opencast mines, cops were deployed in large numbers by the SCCL management.
Congress leader and former minister Vanama Venkateswara Rao and CPI district secretary SK Sabeer Pasha said that though Singareni employees were on strike demanding implementation of dependent employment scheme for last three days, the management had not responding.
They alleged that the Telangana Boggugani Sangham which is supposed to fight for employees’ rights had colluded with the management and was hatching a conspiracy to nullify the protests. As many as 601 candidates who applied for dependent jobs said that they were supporting the strike, adding that they would participate in the protests.
At the opencast mines, authorities provided lunch for workers who chose to show to up to work.
Meanwhile, SCCL director Pavitran Kumar claimed that about 72 per cent coal workers had showed up to work. Speaking to mediapersons at RG1 office, Kumar said that workers were keeping away from strike and were attending duties, he said.In Kothagudem, the attendance percentage of employees on third day remained 40 pc. However, management claimed that attendance had increased and that the strike had not affected coal production.