Several workers injured in boiler explosion - journalist Rajvinder arrested while gathering information about the incident - sections for attempt to murder and damage to public property imposedGoons hired by the factory owner beat up RajvinderWorkers lathi charged by the police, police raids workers' homes at midnight, even women and children not spared.
A dyeing unit of the 'Abhiverma Textiles' factory in the Basti Jodhewal police station area in Ludhiana was destroyed by the explosion in its boiler on Monday (21 April) night. The blast was so powerful that the entire unit was destroyed and even some adjacent factories suffered damage. The Ludhiana based reporter of workers' paper 'Bigul' and social activist Rajvinder reached at the spot on Tuesday morning as the news spread about workers being injured in the blast. He was accompanied by some workers of the adjacent Mahaveer Basti. Some anti-social elements hired by the factory owner attacked and beat him up when he was gathering information about the blast.At least half a dozen workers have been injured in the blast but the workers feared that some dead bodies may be buried in the debris and they might be removed with the connivance of the police. Therefore the workers were not ready to leave the factory gates and they clashed with the police. Rajvinder and some other social workers were also present there. Meanwhile, on Tuesday evening, the police lathi-charged and forced the workers away from the factory and then arrested Rajvinder. He has been booked under the sections for attempt to murder and damaging public property along with 50 unnamed persons.The police are openly with the factory owner. Even after such a terrible blast he has not been arrested and only a case of negligence has been filed against him. The police raided several homes in the Mahaveer Basti on Tuesday night and beat up the workers including women and children. Police are camping outside the basti and terrorising the workers.We fear that the police may torture Rajvinder and implicate him in some other serious case. Yesterday night he was severely beaten by the police and the henchmen of the factory owner inside the Basti Jodhewal police station.We appeal to you to mount pressure on the police and administrative officers in Ludhiana to immediately release Rajvinder and withdraw the false cases against him. You can also send fax and email messages to the Home Secretary of Punjab.
The contact numbers of these officials are as follows:
RK Jaiswal, SSP, Ludhiana -- 09815800402, 0161-2406055
Deputy Commissioner, Ludhiana -- 0161-2403100, Fax: 0161-2404502
Home Secretary, Punjab -- 0172-2740811 Ext. 4730,
SP City (Mr Cheema) 09814457579
SHO Police Stn. Basti Jodhewal: 09815800135