Around 500 labourers torched the dyeing and printing units at the Raghunath Silk Mills at Jolwa village in Palsana taluka in Surat district on Thursday night following a minor conflict with the factory supervisor over salary.
The workers also attacked fire brigade officials when they tried to extinguish the blaze. The police had to lob 29 teargas shells to bring the situation under control.
According to reports,the tussle erupted between the textile workers and supervisor Alkesh Yadav on Thursday night. Yadav lost his temper and beat one of the workers and also threatened him.
As news of the incident spread through the factory,the workers left their jobs and gathered at the main gate and set the dyeing and printing units ablaze.
The factory manager tried to intervene,but was unsuccessful. He later informed factory owner Hitesh Ramnikbhai about the incident.
Fire brigade officials from Surat went to the factory site and found the main gate closed. The workers also pelted the police with stones when they rushed to the spot after learning of the incident.
The police finally brought the 500-strong mob under control and the fire brigade managed to extinguish the blaze.
According to the fire brigade officials,the damage is to the tune of several crores of rupees.
Following a complaint by Alkesh Yadav with the Palsana police station,the police arrested 40 textile workers on Friday.
Sub-Inspector D S Soni said: We have found that the issue was of salary which the textile workers had demanded from the factory supervisor. When he denied them the same,a heated exchange took place. Yadav beat up one of the workers and the situation went out of control and the workers torched the factory.
The workers as well as the factory owner refused to speak on the issue.