THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The abominable practice of ‘Nokkukooli’ has claimed an unlikely victim, actor Sudheer Karamana who was forced to pay trade unionists Rs 25,000 for allowing marble and granite to be unloaded at the site of his under-construction house. The incident occurred at the building site near the Chackai bypass. According to Sudheer’s relatives, the three unions had initially demanded Rs 75,000. This was despite the Rs 16,000 paid by the actor to the marble company for unloading the consignment.
However, after much wrangling, the unions settled for Rs 25,000. On receiving the money, they simply left the premises without doing any work. Before going away, the unionists reportedly threatened those at the work site and shouted expletives at them. The consignment was later unloaded by the workers assigned by the marble company. Sudheer, who is currently in Thodupuzha on the sets of his latest film, termed the incident unfortunate and sad.
The District Labour Office has launched a probe into the incident. The CITU and INTUC leaders have vowed action if their members were involved in the incident. Incidentally, this came close on the heels of a similar incident at the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport on Saturday when the unloading works of a private contractor were disrupted after Rs 20,000 was demanded by the local head load workers. Following the assistant labour officer’s intervention, the workers unloaded the consignment and left without collecting the stipulated unloading charge of Rs 1,200 as a mark of protest.