Work at Tata Motors stalled following non-attendance of staff

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Singur, Aug 29 (UNI) Work at the Tata Motors small car project site remained suspended today as the attendance of the engineers and other technical staff at the factory was practically nil this morning.

The attendance of the contractual labourers was also dismally low at 10-15 per cent. Consequently, the workers, who did turn up, were sent back home by the employers.

Singur Block Development Officer Prasenjit Chakraborty said staff could not turn up as they had returned home late last night after police managed to rescue the workers, who were stranded following a blockade imposed by Trinamool Congress supporters.

''However, the workers are expected to turn up later in the day during the afternoon or evening shift,'' the BDO claimed.

Yesterday, the Paschim Banga Khet Majur Samity, along with Trinamool supporters, virtually laid a siege to the Tata Motors small car unit, preventing 300 workers from leaving the site.

Altogether six buses carrying the workers got stranded in face of the blockade, spearheaded by socialist leader Anuradha Talwar, when they were about to exit the project site through the gate at Joymolla under police escort.

However, police later lathicharged the agitators and managed to rescue the stranded workers at around midnight last night and escorted them back home safely.

The security arrangements around each of the gates of the project site have been reinforced following yesterday's incident and the number of police personnel guarding each gate and escorting the workers to the factory have also been increased, the BDO added.

The Durgapur Expressway on National Highway two continued to remain blocked today even as the indefinite dharna to demand the return of the 400 acres land ''forcibly acquired from the unwilling farmers'' entered its sixth day.

Thousands of vehicles carrying goods remained stranded on the Delhi Road, which was the only alternative to the arterial road connecting Kolkata to Burdwan, Birbhum and Bankura districts. As a result, vegetables, fruits and other perishable commodities being carried by the vehicles were decomposing.

Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee yesterday reiterated her resolve to continue the ''satyagraha'' until the 400 acres was returned, adding that campaigns would also be conducted in schools and colleges to strengthen the movement.

The Trinamool is also scheduled to organise a road blockade programme across the state for an hour from 1600 hrs today in support of its demands.

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