Police have arrested a local leader of CPM’s trade union wing CITU here in Kerala for threatening a young woman IAS officer with the demand of nooku kooli for unloading her home appliances.
A notorious practice in Kerala, nooku kooli is the amount collected by head load workers as gawking charges for work done by cranes or machines. Even if a house owner unloads his own luggage from a truck, the workers would demand an amount as nooku kooli.
The State Labour Department had banned nooku kooli and declared Thiruvananthapuram district free from the menace. CITU leader B Murali (28) was remanded in judicial custody on Sunday. Police have also registered case against four others, all belonging to the State Labour Department
Trouble began for IAS officer T V Anupama, who was recently appointed as Kerala Food Safety Commissioner, on June 26 as she reached the state capital. When her truck driver had almost unloaded the home appliances, barring a washing machine, four head load workers approached them staking claim for unloading. Then, the workers unloaded the washing machine, but demanded wages for the entire load.
When Anupama refused to pay nooku kooli, the workers left the scene. Next day, their leader Murali approached the house owner, asking to get the nooku kooli exacted from the IAS officer.
According to police, the CITU leader repeatedly threatened the officer and even went on to say that they would not spare the IAS officer from nooku kooli. As the harassment continued, Anupama complained to police on Saturday leading to the arrest of the CITU leader next day.