The burning of two cement units in Ganderbal, Kashmir, India by a mob has sent shock waves among the industrial fraternity with industrialists accusing government of failing to protect the factory from l;ocals angry at continuing pollution violations.
Witnesses said the mob torched the first floor of the company. “I along with around 12 employees were stuck in the company when it was burnt down. Some members from the mob got entry into the second floor and asked us to come out. Having no other alternative we came down. They beat us up with lathis and dragged us for two and a half kilometers up to village Lar,” Hussain alleged. Witnesses said the mob later burnt down workers’ quarters, sub-stations, raw material, and machinery and equipment, and one dipper JK01A 1595.
Hussain suspects that the people behind the burning the cement factory enjoy backing from some strong lobby.
Director Haroon Cements Muhammad Aalam said the looting at the site of the company is continuing. “They are now looting the burnt down machinery and equipment from the company,” he said. Aalam said that the company has installed all the pollution control devices and has been given license by the government for running the factory.
SHO Police Station Ganderbal told Greater Kashmir that the people in the area had long pending grievances with the factory. Apparently the mob went berserk and while we were evacuating the employees of the company, the mob set on the fire the company.
President Kashmir Traders and Manufacturers Federation (KTMF) said that government should take action against the miscreants. “If the government has given the license to the units and they have installed all the necessary devices to check the pollution, how come a mob be allowed to burn down the factory. It is total hooliganism,” he said.