A day after violence rocked the lignite town of Neyveli following killing of a man in firing by a CISF constable, the central force was temporarily taken off duty in Mine II of NLC complex even as the one-day strike by over 20,000 employees hit mining activities today.
The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) contingent vested with security duty at the Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) was replaced by Tamil Nadu Police personnel in Mine II as a temporary measure, apparently aimed at assuaging the feelings of workers and locals, officials said.
Police said the situation in the NLC township, near here, was normal and 35 persons, including workers, had been arrested in connection with yesterday's violence.
Superintendent of Police A Radhika said all the arrested were produced before a court and remanded to judicial custody.
NLC officials stated that the deceased T Suresh alias Raja of a nearby village was not employed with the company at present. He had worked as a contract labourer some time ago.
They also said while mining activities had been hit due to the strike, power generation at its thermal plants with a total capacity of about 2,400 mw was being maintained.
31-year old Suresh along with a friend attempted to enter the second mine without authorisation and was stopped by the CISF constable.
After a heated quarrel, the duo had allegedly attacked the constable, who then fired three rounds from his service rifle, killing Suresh instantly. The constable has been arrested.
Enraged over the incident, nearly 1000-strong crowd of workers and villagers attacked the CISF gate office at Mine II and clashed with police, who used batons and fired tear gas shells to disperse them. Twenty persons and three CISF men were injured in the incident.
Protesting the clash, thirteen unions in the NLC last night announced a 24-hour strike, starting from 10 PM yesterday. They also demanded a Rs 10 lakh compensation.
In a filing to the BSE, the Navratna company said the power generation was not affected by the token strike.
Condemning the incident, NLC said, "The Joint Action Council of all trade unions called for a one day token strike from March 17, 10 PM to March 18, 10 PM."
"However, power generation is being maintained", it said.