The vice president of a ceramics company in Yanam, in Andhra Pradesh, K C Chandrasekhar was beaten to death by angry workers on Friday, recalling the death of L K Chaudhary, the CEO of an Italy-based company Graziano, in Greater Noida, in 2008.
While Chaudhary was beaten to death by a group of employees, who had been dismissed two months ago, after a compromise meeting failed, the death of a union leader MS Murali Mohan triggered the attack on Chandrasekhar.
The workers of Regency Ceramics—the largest producers of ceramic tiles in the country—have been agitating for the past one month demanding a hike in wages and regularisation of services. In the morning, when word got around that Mohan had "succumbed to police lathi charge" the striking workers went on a rampage. They set fire to the factory, vehicles and properties belonging to the company promter G N Naidu, and then rushed for the residence of Chandrasekhar, who was the vice president – operations.
Chandrasekhar was rushed to Apollo Hospital in neighbouring Kakinada with severe head injuries, but could not be saved. Mohan had been picked up on Thursday night by Yanam police, following a complaint by the factory management. He was, however, released soon after. But on Friday morning when he and some others tried to obstruct those who were attending the morning shift, police personnel reportedly resorted to lathi charge. Mohan, who sustained head injuries, collapsed on the spot. He was taken to a hospital where he died.
Over a 100 Yanam police personnel rushed to the factory to bring the situation under control but they were soon outnumbered. Soon after, the police resorted to firing in which seven persons were injured, two of whom are said to be critical.
Responding to the request from Yanam authorities the AP government has rushed in additional police force, and a curfew has been imposed in the town.