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High court cracks whip on Citu

Calcutta, Nov. 9: Calcutta High Court today rapped the state government for failing to rein in militant trade unionism sponsored by the Citu.

Adjudicating over a case relating to the Shalimar unit of Champdani Jute Mills in Howrah, where employees affiliated to the Citu are obstructing work and preventing officials from entering the premises, the court today asked the Howrah superintendent of police to remove the protesters.

The workers have been staging the blockade in front of the unit's office gate for the last eight months.

'The SP is directed to ensure easy entry and exit of the management employees as well as materials needed to run the company smoothly,' Justice Jayanta Biswas said.

The judge also ordered that the police would have to provide protection to the management as long as it was required. But the cost of deployment of the force would be borne by the management.

The management had moved a Howrah court seeking police protection for employees and an executive magistrate had directed Shibpur police to send a team, the lawyers appearing for the firm said. But the police did not take any step, they added.

The then management moved High Court and 'Justice Pranab Kumar Chatterjee on May 16 directed the police to remove the agitating workers from the factory gate', the lawyers said. But the cops ignored this directive as well.

Today's order came after Dilip Kumar Ghosh, the manager of Champdani Jute Mills, moved a contempt petition in the high court.

Arunava Ghosh and Anjan Bhattacharya, appearing for the company, told the court that trouble started in March this year after a section of workers placed a charter of demands, including pay hike.

They said deadlock ensued after the workers allegedly assaulted the manager of the company during a demonstration and the management retaliated with a showcause notice on the union members.

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