Odisha: Mesco Steel CMD Rita Singh Released After 24-Hours By Protesting Workers

Jajpur: Mesco Steel CMD, Rita Singh was rescued on Wednesday afternoon from 24-hour-long confinement by hundreds of plant workers of one of her companies, who were demanding their pending salaries and bonus.

Singh was forced to remain inside the company’s guesthouse in Kalinga Nagar by the agitating workers of Maithan Ispat since 3 pm yesterday. She could come out only after the district administration and the local police intervened today afternoon.

Protesting workers claimed they had not been paid for several months and the management was unresponsive to their plight. One of the steel plant workers also attempted to self-immolate on Wednesday morning but was stopped by the police in time.

Mesco Steel had bought the ailing Maithan Ispat at Kalinga Nagar in 2015, but the plant has been shut since March this year due to a shortage of iron ore. After her release, Singh said the times were tough for the steel industry and she was looking for finance for the plant.

“It was last agreed that workers will be paid Rs 55 lakh against dues but the payment was delayed and now workers are demanding full and final payment. So let them come with a feasible suggestion,” she said.

BJD MLA from Sukinda, Pritiranjan Ghadai, who led the workers’ protest, said talks had failed and agitation will continue, but added that allegations of workers detaining Rita Singh forcefully were false.


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