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Singareni workers' strike enters third day

Staff Reporter

They lay siege to road leading to opencast mine at Manuguru

— PHOTO: G.N. RAO

Firm stance: CPI activists staging a demonstration in Khammam on Wednesday in protest against alleged heavy deployment of police forces at the coal mines.

KHAMMAM: The activists of Singareni Collieries Workers Union (AITUC) laid a siege to the road leading to the Prakasham Khani (OC2) opencast mine at Manuguru for nearly two hours in a bid to muster support to their ongoing indefinite strike which entered the third day on Wednesday.

Sources said the situation turned tense when the protesters squatted on the road and prevented a section of the miners owing allegiance to other unions from moving towards the opencast mine.

A heated argument ensued between the protesters and the miners as the latter insisted that they would proceed to the mine and attend their duties. Enraged over this, the protesters continued their stir resenting the attitude of their fellow workers who chose to work in defiance of the ongoing strike, sources said.

The local police rushed additional forces and dispersed the protesters amid tense atmosphere. In a separate incident, the AITUC activists organised Vanta Vaarpu programme in front of the entrance of Gowthamikhani (GKOC) opencast mine in Kothagudem mandal as part of efforts to deter the miners of other unions from attending to duties.

Unidentified persons reportedly made a vain bid to attack two tippers parked near the D Block at the JKOC opencast mine in Yellendu in the morning. The windowpanes of the tippers were reportedly damaged in the incident, sources said.

Activists of the CPI and its frontal organisations staged demonstrations at various places across the district to garner support to the AITUC sponsored indefinite strike and resent the alleged attempts by the Singareni management to foil the strike by force.

Meanwhile, the company sources said the attendance of miners has improved significantly on the third day of the strike on Wednesday. A total of 25,543 miners attended their duties as against 40,048 miners on rolls in all the coalmines under the company during the first shift on Wednesday. The company has marked 4173 miners as absent to duties in their attendance record.

The company has recorded an estimated coal production of 52,772 tonnes during the first shift on Wednesday.

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