A 31-year-old worker of Neyveli Lignite Corporation was killed on Monday when a 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 men. Agitated workers damaged an office of the central force inside the company premises, and a joint meeting of the various trade unions are to discuss the next step of action.
T Suresh, attached to NLC’s first mine, died when Central Industrial Security Force (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 remanded him to 15 days custody, the police said.
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 resort to lathicharge and teargas.
Around 20 workers and three CISF personnel were injured in the incidents and were undergoing treatment in NLC hospital, police said adding pickets had been posted in the area. DSP A Radhika said police lobbed 12 teargas shells to disperse the crowd and the situation was under control now.
According to police, Suresh and his colleague Krishnamoorthy, both workers of NLC’s first mine, attempted to enter the second mine at 1 pm. As they did not have permission to enter the mine, 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, police said. Suresh died on the spot while his accomplice managed to escape unhurt.
As news spread, people from Suresh’s village ransacked the CISF gate office. District collector Kirlosh Kumar ordered an inquiry.