The News Minute | June 16, 2014 | 11:14 pm IST
Kolkata: As the lynching of a jute mill CEO by workers in West Bengal's Hooghly district continues to acquire political colour, stakeholders on Monday said the incident will have a negative impact on the industry in the state.
H.K. Maheswari, chief executive officer of North Brook Jute Mill in Bhadreswar, was beaten to death on Sunday by agitated factory workers who were demanding an increase in weekly working hours.
While Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee has indicted the CPI-M and the BJP over the killing, the opposition has charged the ruling party of spreading canards.
Besides her party moving a motion in the state assembly condemning the murder of Maheswari, Banerjee asserted that her government will deal in the matter with an iron hand and punish the guilty.
As Trinamool leader Partha Chatterjee blamed the CPI-M's 'harmads' (goons) for the attack, the Left Front staged a walkout from the assembly.
"This government and the chief minister are trying to malign us by linking us with the BJP for the incident. The Trinamool has started a habit of blaming us for anything bad that happens," Leader of Opposition in the assembly and CPI-M leader Surjya Kanta Mishra said.
Demanding exemplary punishment to the culprits, the deceased CEO's brother, P.K. Maheswari said the incident will have a negative impact on the industry in the state.
"We have seen how Tata's Nano project had to move out, the whole country knows about it. In the wake of this incident, no manager would be willing to work, the existing industry will close and investors from outside will be apprehensive to invest here," he said.
"The government has to ensure action, otherwise industry in the state will die out," P.K. Maheswari said.
Indian Jute Mills Association (IJMA) chairperson Raghvendra Gupta said the incident will lead to an increase in industrial indiscipline.
"Managers, chief executives will now be apprehensive while deciding about mill level discipline among workers. This will result in increase in indiscipline among industrial workers," said Gupta.
Industry lobby Assocham member Debmalya Banerjee too expressed concern over the incident.
"This is not the first time such an incident has taken place in Bengal. If such incidents continue to occur, it is bound to create a negative impact and industry will suffer," said Banerjee.
Police have arrested six people, including some belonging to the BJP and CPI-M-affiliated trade unions.
However, both the workers' unions of the mill have denied the involvement and claimed the arrested people were not present at the site when the incident occurred.