Violence is building a strange liaison with Tata Steel.
Contract employees went berserk on company premises on Wednesday morning, damaging vehicles and furniture, after a fellow worker sustained injuries on duty.
This was the third fracas at the steel plant in two years.
Sources said Banke Behari Mahto (30), hired by L&T, received injuries in the waist around 8.30am, when iron bars being unloaded by a crane came crashing on him. He had to be taken to Tata Main Hospital after being administered first aid inside the works.
Soon after the Tata Steel brass reached the spot and Mahto was taken to hospital, a section of contract workers ceased work and mobilised support against the company. They alleged that safety norms were not followed while unloading construction material with the crane, which, incidentally, belongs to L&T.
Insiders said agitated workers overturned two cars parked near the site of mishap and stormed three offices, which were ransacked. Furniture was broken and computers were damaged. They also pelted stones in which some security guards were injured. The situation was brought under control by a police team.
DSP (control room) Rajkishore Prasad confirmed the violence on Tata Steel premises. “A worker was injured in an accident, which made fellow workers violent. Cars and furniture were damaged,” Prasad, also the spokesperson for East Singhbhum district police, said.
A Tata Steel news release confirmed the accident and said: “The injured was immediately admitted to Tata Main Hospital and is under observation. No fracture has been detected.”
According to the release, company operations were disrupted by “angry workers”, but the situation returned to normal after police intervention.
Inspector A.K. Yadav of Bistupur police station, which exercises jurisdiction over the factory area, said no complaint had been filled till late in the evening.
Wednesday’s violence comes close on the heels of a firing incident at Tata Steel last month.
On December 24, 2012, a verbal spat between security guards and contract workers over taking bicycles inside company premises had snowballed into an ugly stone-versus-bullet war, triggering rampage and arson that left nine persons injured at Burmamines.
On June 28, 2010, a contract worker had an argument with security personnel at L Town Gate over entry without undergoing mandatory security clearance. More than 2,000 workers had pelted stones and damaged cars, motorbikes and cycles. Seven contract workers and three guards had been injured in the two-hour clash.
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