Bengal mill CEO's lynching will hasten flight of capital: Congress

Last Updated: Tue, Jun 17, 2014 18:20 hrs

Kolkata, June 17 (IANS) The Congress Tuesday expressed concern over West Bengal's industrial scenario and asserted a jute mill CEO's lynching will only hasten the flight of capital from the state.

H.K. Maheswari, chief executive officer of North Brook Jute Mill in Bhadreswar, was beaten to death Sunday by agitated factory workers demanding an increase in weekly working hours.

state Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury urged the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government to take steps to arrest the flight of capital from the state.

"This incident has sent a message that the industrial environment in the state is not well. Since the past few decades, there has been a flight of capital from Bengal and this incident will only hasten that," said Chowdhury.

"The state government should initiate long-term strategy to revive the jute industry in the state which has been floundering for long," he added.

P.K. Maheshwari, brother of the deceased CEO, urged the state government to take immediate steps to arrest the decline of industry in Bengal.

"This is not an isolated incident, rather these keep on happening. The government needs to act immediately and weed out these criminal elements, otherwise industry will die in Bengal soon. No one will be willing to invest here," he said.

The Indian Jute Mills Association and industry lobby Assocham have expressed concern over the incident.

Jute mill operators in Hooghly district held a meeting during the day, claiming they were apprehensive after the incident. The operators said they will talk to the administration and seek security.

Police Tuesday arrested two more people, taking the number of arrests to eight. A dozen people have been named in the first information report.

While state Labour Minister Purnendu Bose held a meeting with trade union leaders affiliated to the Trinamool and assured them lynching of Maheswari will not adversely affect the industry, another jute mill announced suspension of work.

The management of the Auckland Jute Mill in North 24-Parganas district's Jagaddal has put up a notice declaring suspension of work, leading to an agitation by nearly 3,500 workers outside the mill.

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