news Monday, January 05, 2015 - 05:30
The News Minute | July 7, 2014 | 1.05 pm IST An IAS officer has filed a complaint against a coolie worker for demanding “nokku coolie” in Trivandrum after the latter repeatedly threatened her family demanding money as "wage", this practice is considered illegal in the state. “Nokku Kooli” is a wage demanded by trade unions usually of coolies in Kerala. Even if workers are not hired to unload goods, the labourers demand money for even allowing  anyone to unload their goods in the unions "territory".  On June 26, a CITU leader demanded that IAS officer T V Anupama the “Nokku Kooli” while she shifted to a new house in Kesavadasapuram, in Thiruvananthapuram. Anupama is Commissioner for Food Security and the Additional Director of the Travel and Tourism department.  CITU convener B Murali and his associates demanded money from Anupama, because her family unloaded the home appliances by themselves. When Anupama protested that the workers could not demand wages as they did not do any work, Murali forcefully unloaded her washing machine, and demanded money. He scribbled his phone number in front of her house asking her to call him and let him know about when they will make the payment. But things did not end there; the group came and continued to threaten the officer’s family when they did not give them money. This forced Anupama to file a case against Murali in the Medical College Police Station. Murali was arrested and has been remanded for 15 days. Demand for “Nokku Kooli” has been banned in Thrivananthapuram, Kozhikode and other areas. Even the state judiciary had held that cases will be filed against anyone who seeks “Nokku Kooli” in 2012. The capital city, Thiruvananthapuram in fact was the first city in Kerala to be declared as “Nokku Kooli free zone”. But despite all this, this norm continued to be prevalent. People continued to pay money to the union workers for just standing around because they did not want to invite their ire, especially so because the workers are mostly locals.

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