Desperate to get their dues pending for past 24 years, the tense and frustrated former workers of closed Hukumchand Mills staged demonstration at Malwa Mills square on Sunday.
They have threatened to stage demonstration before Vidhan Sabha if their demand is not met soon.
Organised under the aegis of Indore Mill Mazdoor Sangh and Hukumchand Mills Employees Committee, the demonstrators said that chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan defaulted on the promise he made to them during their meeting last month.
"The CM had said that either state government would withdraw its claim from Mills' land or pay dues worth `299 crore to over 5,895 ex-workers. But he has done nothing till now," employees' union leaders Harnam Singh Dhariwal and Narendra Shrivansh said in joint statement.
In last 24 years since the Mills closed, more than 1600 ex-workers have died without receiving their salary, gratuity while more than 60 have committed suicide.
The Indore bench of Madhya Pradesh high court on August 6, 2007, had given nod to disburse claims of `229 crore after selling Mills' land. The state government has staked its claim on land though it could not produce evidence about ownership. The state government has moved an appeal in the court to this effect.
A sum of Rs 229 crore along with interest has to be disbursed to 5,895 ex-workers. With interest, workers' claim stands at Rs 800 crore. The dues include salary, gratuity, retrenchment compensation, bonus etc. The Mills' land spread over 48.50 acre costs Rs 1100 crore according to current market rate.
Former workers of Hukumchand Mills have been holding meeting every Sunday for past 20 years to explore ways of getting their dues.