Intel report blames ABG, port officer for ‘triggering crisis’

A report prepared by the East Midnapore district Intelligence Bureau on Haldia impasse has blamed the ABG-led cargo-handling firm, Haldia Bulk Terminal (HBT), and a junior port officer for the labour unrest that culminated in the exit of the company from Haldia dock.

The report, which was submitted to Chief Secretary Sanjoy Mitra and Home Secretary Basudeb Banerjee earlier this week, and a copy of which is with The Indian Express, holds the ABG-led HBT responsible for the labour unrest saying that the cargo-handling firm failed to clear the PF and ESI dues of the casual labourers working at the dock. Moreover, "they (the causal labourers of the HBT) did not get sufficient work from the company, which triggered unrest amongst labourers at the Haldia dock," the report states.

For the current impasse, the report also blames Ramakanta Burman, a junior assistant manager of Haldia Dock Complex. Interestingly, Burman, who is a member of Haldia Dock Bachao Committee, has been vocal against the local administration and the government for its inability to improve the law and order situation at the dock, which has been cited as the reason by the company for its decision to wrap up its operation.

The report accuses Burman of "taking advantage of the labour unrest and instigating the workers of the dock for financial and political gains".

When contacted, Burman rubbished the charges, saying: "If the government officials have any proof that I have instigated labourers at Haldia Dock Complex, then they should complain it to the Central Vigilance Commission."

Members of Haldia Dock Bachao Committee termed the report biased and said it has been prepared to tarnish the image of Burman, "who had raised voice against the exit of HBT as it would result in a loss of Rs 80 crore".

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