Thousands of NLC workers were lathicharged and tear-gassed by personnel of the Tamil Nadu Police Strike Force when they protested the killing of a contract worker by a Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) constable. The angry crowd retaliated and set a CISF room at the entrance on fire besides resorting to stone-pelting.
Rajkumar (35), a native of Aziz Nagar near Neyveli, was reportedly shot thrice in the head by a CISF constable following a heated argument which broke out when the latter refused to let Rajkumar enter Mine II. Many protesters, including trade union leaders, were injured in clashes with the police. LPF leader Thirumavalavan, AITUC district secretary Sekar and several others were admitted to the NLC general hospital. DMK district secretary M R K Paneer Selvam, VCK state general secretary Chinthanai Selvan, CITU state secretary Sugumaran and CPM district secretary Arumugan visited those injured in the hospital.
Panner Selvam said, “Workers were attacked brutally by the Tamil Nadu police and the CISF. Around 200 people were injured. The CISF constable opened fire in broad daylight, that too at the entrance of the NLC mine. The Union Home Ministry is to blame (for the incident).”
“CISF activities should be brought under control hereafter. A murder case should be registered against the constable. All the NLC workers will unite to fight against the atrocities of the CISF in Neyveli,” said CPM district secretary T Arumugam.
Rajkumar’s relatives and trade union leaders demanded the immediate arrest of the CISF constable. They also sought Rs 25 lakh compensation for Rajkumar’s family and a job at the NLC for his wife. They held talks with Cuddalore DRO Manohar and RDO Sharmila regarding their demands.