Retrenched dock workers stopped from reaching venue

Haldia

Police lathicharged a group of former employees of ABG-led cargo-handling firm who lost their jobs following the exit of the company from Haldia dock. Police used force to stop them from reaching the venue of Bengal Leads at the Helipad Ground in Haldia. Seven people were arrested, said police.

The former employees, under the banner of INTUC, planned to reach the venue. "Without any provocation they beat us up mercilessly. Our leader Kanishka Panda was arrested in the morning," said Jharna Giri, district president of INTUC. Police, however, said those protesting were not former employees of ABG but "supporters of a political party".

Meanwhile, ABG said Bengal should follow the Gujarat model to attract more investment in the port sector. MD of ABG, Saket Agarwal, said the company did not take part in Bengal Leads "as we had been forced to leave Haldia". "In Gujarat, we found nodal agencies have been set up to deal with labour problems. But here, we have to approach port trust officials who pass the buck to the government saying it's a law-and-order problem," he said.

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