Report of Mazdoor Ekta Lehar’s correspondent
On 30th August five workers died from a gas leak in Sakshi Food Products in Dhanela village off the Agra-Mumbai highway, in Noorabad thana of Morena district in Madhya Pradesh.
This factory is in the business of food processing. According to reports, two workers descended into a 9 ft deep safety tank to clean it. On seeing the two workers falling unconscious even as they went down the tank, three other workers jumped in to save them. However, all five workers died of suffocation inside the tank. Other workers who were there believe that the workers were affected by toxic gases.
People living in the area were very angry with the company whose carelessness had caused the death of the workers. On 2nd September, a mahapanchayat of neighbouring villages was organised in Ghuraiya village. It was noted at the mahapanchayat that this kind of incident had occurred previously in this factory. The meeting also raised the demands of assistance of Rs.50 lakh for the family of the workers, employment of a member of the family in the factory and allotment of a house to each family under the PM Awaas Yojana, with the administration. It also demanded the dismissal of the thana officer.
On the day the incident occurred, relatives of the workers came out to oppose the attempts of the administration and police to exonerate the owner of the factory from his responsibility for the death of the workers. The police lathi charged the protesting family members, Protests against the police action are continuing.
People are very angry at the events, and have taken out a protest march on 5th September to the district collectorate’s office in Morena and on 6th September they blocked the chief minister from entering Morena district.