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ECL threatens to stop operation over Bengal official's assault

Posted on Jul 23 2014 | IANS

Kolkata, July 22 : The Eastern Coalfields Limited (ECL) has threatened to stop operations at one of its mines at Raniganj in West Bengal if the government fails to take action against a Trinamool Congress trade union leader accused of assaulting and threatening the company's officials.

Complaining of insecurity, the ECL authorities pasted a notice at the J.K. Nagar colliery in Burdwan district, saying it would be closed down if the administration did not take suitable action within two days.

"Last Friday (July 18), one of our executives - a pit manager - was assaulted by an Indian National Trinamool Trade Union Congress leader. Later, the same person sent an SMS threatening a manager July 20. On July 21, the same person threatened our agent over phone," said ECL Satgram area general manager Sanjay Singh.

He said though police complaints were lodged on all three occasions, "no action has been taken".

"We have given notice for closing the mines indefinitely, if within two days the accused is not arrested," he said.

Another ECL official said the trouble started July 18 after the INTTUCA leader was not allowed to sign the attendance register along with 10 other workers as they had reported more than 30 minutes after the start of the morning shift.

"He said he would not accept this and when pit manager Birendra Kumar Singh protested, there ensued a heated exchange during which the leader and his accomplices assaulted Kumar, who had to be hospitalised. The offender was suspended and a police complaint was lodged."

"However, since Monday, he has been giving death threats through SMS. There is a feeling of insecurity among the officials. We have taken a decision that if action is not taken against the miscreants, we may decide to close down the mine.

"We have given a four-day deadline. We have told the workers that they would be shifted to an adjacent colliery," he said.

However, accused INTTUC leader Chunnulal Mishra denied all the allegations and claimed a "conspiracy has been hatched" against him.

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