Kathua, May 8
Labourers of J&K’s largest factory, Chenab Textile Mill (CTM), Kathua, on Friday resorted to violence and blocked the Jammu-Pathankot highway to protest the non-payment of full wages to them amid the ongoing lockdown.
Protesters damaged furniture, computers, CCTV cameras and records of the mill during the violent protest that also left five labourers injured in police action later.
Thousands of workers assembled at Workers’ Colony inside the factory and staged a noisy demonstration against the management after they came to know that they have allegedly been paid half of their monthly wages due to lockdown.
Eyewitnesses said the labourers marched towards the main gate of the factory and damaged the furniture and other infrastructure. Workers, later, blocked the highway and resorted to stone-throwing.
Irate workers also damaged a police vehicle. The police had to use teargas shells to disperse the mob. Senior police officers rushed to the spot to pacify the workers but workers were adamant to protest till the management credit full salary to their accounts.
They alleged that they were being paid Rs 350 per day but the management of the factory had credited the wages at the rate of Rs 175 per day to their accounts which was grave “injustice” with them in the prevailing circumstances.
The SSP, Kathua, Shailendra Mishra, pacified the workers while striking an emotional chord by using Bhojpuri language as most the workers knew Bhojpuri language. A meeting of workers with the administration and management was underway.
When contacted, the CTM management said they would issue a detailed statement on the incident shortly.
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