Eight labourers were injured in a clash with the police at the main entrance of the Tata Steel plant at Jamshedpur near Ranchi on Monday, police said.
According to a company official, the clash occurred after the security guards of the steel plant sought gate pass from a group of labourers.
"An altercation between contract workers and security guards started when the security guards sought gate passes from them. The altercation took an ugly turn and the police had to intervene," said Prabhat Sinha, Head of Corporate Communications at the steel plant in Jamshedpur, 130 km from here.
He said there are many contractors who supply labour for the company and the labourers involved in the incident work under one such contractor.
"They have nothing to do with Tata Steel," Sinha said.
According to a labourer, the clash started after a security guard slapped "one of our colleagues who did not show the gate pass".
Police officials claimed that the labourers went on a rampage and started beating up the security guards.
When the police intervened, the labourers started pelting stones and torched three vehicles, including a police jeep, a police officer said.
Police then resorted to baton charge and fired a few shots in the air to disperse the mob, he said.
Eight labourers were injured in the baton charge. Some policemen also sustained injuries when the labourers threw stones at them.