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Violence rocks Yanam, workers kill company official

Friday January 27, 2012 05:33:03 PM, IANS

Hyderabad: A senior official of a ceramics company was Friday killed in an attack by workers after their leader died in police custody as large-scale violence rocked Yanam, a region of Puducherry but located in Andhra Pradesh's East Godavari district.

Yanam, known as a peaceful region, turned into a battle field as workers of Regency Ceramics attacked the house of the company's vice president (Operations) K.C. Chandrasekhar.

Chandrasekhar sustained injuries in the attack and succumbed while undergoing treatment at a hospital in Kakinada town of East Godavari district.

Eleven workers were injured when police opened fire to disperse them outside the police station.

The Yanam administration sought additional police forces from the Andhra Pradesh government.

Andhra Pradesh Home Minister Sabita Indra Reddy told reporters in Tirupati that the reinforcements were being rushed to Yanam.

According to the police, the workers set fire to the factory, besides 50 trucks and buses, and caused large-scale destruction of property on the factory premises. They also set afire two other factories and damaged two-wheelers.

The violence broke out Friday morning when a leader of the striking workers died in police custody. The workers alleged that he died due to police torture.

Murali Mohan, leader of the striking workers was arrested Thursday. As the news of his death spread, hundreds of workers gathered outside the police station, demanding that the guilty policemen and the factory management be booked for murder.

Angry workers laid siege to the police station, pelted stones and clashed with the police. As a baton charge failed to disperse the workers, the police opened fire, injuring 11 workers. The condition of two of them is stated to be critical.

Another group of workers began a protest outside the factory. Police arrested about 100 protesters, which triggered violent reactions.

Over 700 workers of the factory were on strike for the last 15 days demanding hike in salaries.

The management had reportedly decided to retrench some workers and had even obtained orders from the Madras High Court that the striking workers should not come within 200 metres of the industrial unit.

Yanam, a former French colony, is under the administrative control of Puducherry but geographically a part of East Godavari district in coastal Andhra. The people in the enclave speak Telugu.




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