Fresh threat to Jai Balaji

Durgapur, Feb. 6: A Trinamul leader accused of leading workers to detain officials at Durgapur's Jai Balaji Industries in December has threatened to stall work at the plant if three suspended employees are not taken back.

Ashim Pramanik, who had been disowned by his party after the unrest but was seen today sharing the stage with senior Trinamul leaders, has repeatedly threatened the steel plant authorities with dire consequences if the company did not withdraw the suspension order, officials said.

In December last year, the plant's general manager (electrical) Arun Thatoi was allegedly assaulted by masked assailants after he returned home from the plant where Pramanik had led supporters to stall work. Thatoi had protested Pramanik's demands.

Addressing a rally of around 40 INTTUC workers outside the Asansol-Durgapur Development Authority's office today, Pramanik said: "Jai Balaji authorities have pushed our workers to the wall. They are not being given salaries on time. If the three workers suspended in December are not taken back, we will again stop work and detain the plant officials."

Senior Trinamul leaders seen at the rally today included the Durgapur civic chairman, Suprabhat Mondal, member of the mayor in council Madhusudan Mondal and borough committee-II chief Chandan Saha.

Many workers from the steel plant attended the rally and later followed Pramanik to the deputy labour commissioner's office, where they submitted a deputation in support of their demand.

The steel plant officials refused to react to Pramanik's threats. "We will not react to Pramanik's demands and accusations. We were told by the INTTUC Burdwan president that Pramanik is not a member of their union. We have already prohibited his entry into our plant and will not withdraw the suspension orders against the three workers," said Niranjan Gourisaria, the senior vice-president of Jai Balaji.

The Trinamul leadership in Durgapur that had earlier said Pramanik was "nobody in the party" today refused comments on the rogue leader's threats.


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