CISF cop firing kills NLC worker

 A 31-year-old worker of Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) was killed on Monday when a Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) constable on security duty opened fire allegedly in self defence on being attacked, sparking a flash strike by a section of the PSU workers who clashed with the security personnel.

T Suresh, attached to NLC’s first mine, died when CISF constable Ram Momen Singh opened fire after being allegedly attacked for preventing his attempt to enter the second mine without authorisation.

The constable was later arrested and produced before a local magistrate court, which sent him to 15 days' custody, said police.  

Tension prevailed in the second mine area in Neyveli in the district as the CISF gate office came under attack twice and enraged workers clashed with security personnel, prompting police to make a lathi-charge and use tear-gas shells to disperse them.

Around 20 workers and three CISF personnel were injured in the incidents and were undergoing treatment at NLC hospital, said the police, adding that police pickets had been posted in the area.

District Superintendent of Police A Radhika said police lobbed 12 tear-gas shells to disperse the crowd, and that the situation was under control now.  

According to the police, Suresh and his colleague Krishnamoorthy, both workers of NLC’s first mine, attempted to enter the second mine at around 1 pm. As they did not have permission to enter, the CISF constable stopped them.

After a quarrel, the duo, allegedly in an inebriated state, attacked the constable, who then opened three rounds of fire from his Self Loading Rifle, said the police. Suresh died on the spot while his accomplice managed to escape unhurt.

 As the news of the death spread, people from Suresh’s village gathered and ransacked the CISF gate office. Later, the workers on duty in the second mine, numbering around 800, trooped out and staged a flash strike.  District collector Kirlosh Kumar ordered an inquiry by Assistant Collector Sharmila.

Meanwhile, the DMK-affiliated Labour Progressive Federation (LPF) condemned the firing incident and demanded action against the CISF constable. In a release in Chennai, LPF general secretary M Shanmugam demanded the intervention of the Neyveli administration and the Union home ministry to register a case against the CISF constable and also his dismissal from service. 

Meanwhile, 13 unions in the NLC had decided to observe a one-day strike, starting from 10 pm on Monday night, in protest against the firing. 

“The decision was taken to condemn the firing by the CISF constable,” said AITUC district secretary A Sekar.

He said the unions were also demanding that the management pay Rs 10 lakh to the family of the deceased and employment to a member of his family in NLC.

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