15 October 2012

Alang stares at longer closure:

RAJKOT: Lakhs of labourers will continue to sit idle at Alang, Asia's biggest shipbreaking yard in Alang, as shipbreakers have decided to keep their facilities shut on Monday as well.

They are protesting against the arrest of three shipbreakers, who were booked for culpable homicide after six labourers were killed in a fire on an oil tanker on October 6. Those arrested included the owners of Kiran Ship Breaking Company Ram Krishna Jain and Vipin Jain along with the manager Rajesh Jugud.

"The yard will remain shut on Monday in protest against their arrest for culpable homicide. We will decide our future course of action on Monday whether to go on indefinite strike or not,'' said V K Gupta, president of Ship Recycling Industries' Association (India).

It was the first time that ship-breakers have been booked and arrested under these charges. If convicted, they face a minimum of three years jail and a maximum life imprisonment.

SRIA and its allied organizations have stopped work since Friday.

According to Haresh Parmar of SRIA, ship recycling industry at Alang is losing crores in revenue daily due to the strike by the shipbreakers, steel re-rolling mills and other allied industries.

"Shipbreakers are worried about their future with regard to accidents at the yards. Since police have booked them under culpable homicide in this, we are not sure that they may book other ship-breakers too in future in such accidents and arrest our family members," said Parmar.

Police said that different agencies probing the incident have found negligence on part of the company. Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) has sealed the plot till its investigation continues. "All the concerned agencies like Forensic Science laboratory (FSL), fire department and GMB among others have found that rules were not being followed while dismantling the oil tanker," a police official said.

Source: times of india. 14 October 2012

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