Workers at Vedanta’s Jharsuguda plant in Odisha launched a protest on Wednesday after a 45-year-old worker employed with Cemfis, the company’s “business partner and contractor for logistics”, died at the railway siding of the plant on Tuesday evening.
“Mumtaz Khan, a resident of Jharsuguda and worker with Cemfis India Pvt Ltd, was working in the railway siding area where this incident happened yesterday at 7 pm. The exact cause of the incident is being investigated,” a spokesperson for Vedanta Aluminium Ltd said.
His wife and two children survive Khan. In a statement, Vedanta Ltd stated, “Vedanta firmly believes in zero harm and has the most robust safety standards at par with global safety benchmarks.”
Assistant Director of Factories and Boilers, Jharsuguda Zone, A K Nanda, who is conducting inquiry into the cause of death, told The Indian Express,
“He (Khan) was shunting one locomotive engine with a wagon. Our preliminary assessment is (that) during shunting the locomotive may have gone to and fro and he may have lost balance and fallen down. It is possible that the rear end of the locomotive struck him and that may be the reason (for death).”
Nanda also said they have sought CCTV footage from Vedanta, the statement of the security guard on duty and the loco pilot, “the key person who is absconding”.
“We will find out if the recommended process was followed,” he added. According to sources in the district administration, a settlement between Cemfis and Khan’s family include pension to be paid as per applicability, job for the wife or her blood relatives considering eligibility, and Rs 15 lakh ex-gratia.