VELLORE: The premises of the District Combined Courts Complex at Sathuvachari was the scene of an attempted suicide, when a former employee, Boopalan, of RSL Sethu Shoe Company (which shut down operations 10 years ago), attempted to set himself on fire. Police deployed in and around the court complex intervened and foiled his suicide attempt and he, along with 11 others including seven women, were taken to a marriage hall at Rangapuram and detained till late evening.
The former employees claimed that the company had failed to settle arrears and monetary benefits the company owed to its employees. A case is pending in court and the owners of the company have been trying to sell the company’s land. The employees of the erstwhile company demanded the attachment of the land and property to settle arrears, said the police.
To highlight their plight, a group of workers put up posters in and around the court complex, announcing that they would end their lives by immolation, on the court complex premises.
“To draw the attention of the court and the public, the protestors put up posters during the early hours on Thursday,” said police. In response, district police deployed around 100 police personnel in the front and rear entrance of the court complex and brought the area under a tight security blanket. All who came to the court were frisked.
Boopalan, of Vellore, one of the protestors, poured petrol over himself outside the court complex.
“After dousing petrol on himself, he tried to scale the court-complex wall at 11 am. On spotting him, we overpowered him and took water from a nearby shop and poured on him. He, along with a few others, was taken into custody,” said a police official.