[QODLink]
Central & South Asia

Indian factory workers beat CEO to death

Six arrested after workers attack jute factory boss with stones and iron rods in dispute over hours.

Last updated: 16 Jun 2014 15:01
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

A mob of Indian workers has beaten the CEO of a jute factory to death in a dispute over increasing their working hours, police told the AP news agency after arresting six workers.

Four suspects were arrested on Sunday, followed by two on Monday, and are expected to be charged with murder, vandalism and other crimes.

A group of 200 workers, wielding iron rods and stones, stormed the office of 60-year-old HK Maheswari in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal, according to Sunil Chowdhury, the Hooghly district superintendent.

Maheswari had denied their earlier request to work and be paid for 40 hours a week at the North Brook Jute Mill, instead of the current norm of 25.

He had also proposed shutting down the mill for three days a week to limit mounting financial losses, according to the factory's general manager, Kiranjit Singh.

State schemes for West Bengal farmers failing

"The mill workers suddenly resorted to stone pelting while we were busy in a meeting," Kiranjit Singh told AP.

At one point during Sunday's meeting, Maheswari looked out the window at the growing crowd and was struck in the head by two stones.

He collapsed, at which point a large group of workers stormed the office, Singh said.

"The CEO was thrashed with iron rods, and he succumbed to his injuries very soon," Singh said.

Both the general manager and a security guard were treated at hospital, while Maheswari died on the way to a hospital, police said.

West Bengal is known for its combative labour unions backed by political parties, and chief minister Mamata Banerjee immediately blamed the violence on unions run by opposition parties.

The opposition has denied any role in the attack, and said an independent investigation should be held before any blame is hurled.

On Monday, Banerjee sought to reassure the business community that her government did not tolerate union violence.

Meanwhile, work at the mill has been suspended indefinitely. A funeral was planned for Tuesday for Maheswari, who is survived by his wife, two grown daughters and a son.

483

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
Featured
Booming global trade in 50-million-year-old amber stones is lucrative, controversial, and extremely dangerous.
Legendary Native-American High Bird was trained in ancient warrior traditions, which he employed in World War II.
Hounded opposition figure says he's hoping for the best at sodomy appeal but prepared to return to prison.
Fears of rising Islamophobia and racial profiling after two soldiers killed in separate incidents.
Group's culture of summary justice is back in Northern Ireland's spotlight after new sexual assault accusations.