Haldia administration failed to act on complaints lodged by two officials of Haldia Dock Complex against Ripley & Co (a firm owned by a Trinamool Congress MP). The complaints were filed 43 days before Haldia Bulk Terminals (HBT) exited the Haldia port and three days before they suspended operations at both the berths.
One of the complaints claimed the workers of Ripley and Co, a company that handles the on-shore cargo, threatened to assault the port officials. Another complaint alleged that workers of AM Enterprise, a clearing agent, joined the Ripley workers in obstructing port's regular activities at the two berths - the only two mechanised berths operated by HBT.
"Some private workers, including those from Ripley and Co, are going to obstruct regular activities of port. They may bodily harm port employees, officers and obstruct lawful activities of port," DA Khan, assistant traffic officer, wrote in his complaint on September 19.
Incidentally, on the same day, KoPT chairman Manish Jain had written to home secretary Basudeb Banerjee seeking immediate intervention for ensuring smooth function of the port.
The port official, who lodged the complaint, had requested the Haldia police to deploy adequate personnel for smooth functioning of the port.
On September 18, Amal Kumar Dutta, manager (administration) of Haldia port, had lodged another complaint with the police, naming Ripley and AM Enterprise, and alleging the workers of these two firms had kept the port officials locked inside the dock area.
The administration allegedly ignored all these complaints.
Though, on October 19, the Calcutta HC - acting on an HBT complaint - had directed the district administration to provide security for the company to operate. HBT's decision to exit the port came on Wednesday, three days after three of its officials were allegedly forced out of Haldia town.