Coordinator alleges caste bias at work place
The coordinator (mastri) of rod-bending workers who were killed in the soil heaps mishap at Lodge centre in Guntur district alleged bias by builder Chukkapalli Ramesh, concrete contractor N. Ramu and supervisers towards workers as they were from SC Mala caste.
Coordinator V. Prabhu Das lodged a complaint with Pattabhipuram police on late on Saturday night and police registered the complaint on Sunday. He further alleged that the workers were harassed to work during night by stopping weekly payment by the builder.
It may be recalled that builder Chukkapalli Ramesh contested from Guntur West Assembly seat on TD ticket against senior Congress leader Kanna Lakshminarayana during 2009 elections and Ramesh is still associated with the TD.
According to Mr Prabhu Das, he used to work as rod-bender and also as the coordinator of the workers. He said that he was supplying workers to concrete contractor N. Ramu for the past one year. He said that three months ago, Ramu asked the workers to work for the construction of shopping mall at Lodge Centre promoted by Phoenix Construction owner Chukkapalli Ramesh.
He said that Ramesh used to stay at the construction site and further used to give suggestions to the workers. He alleged that recently the workers, including students, used to work but as the temper. atures was very high, they asked for changing the work timings from 6 am to 1 pm and the same was followed for the past few days.
Mr. Prabhu Das said when they stopped work at 1 pm on Saturday, concrete contractor Ramu asked them to work till night, stating that the ready mix would come by night to lay concreate for pillars. He alleged that Ramu threatened about stopping the weekly payment to workers if they refuse to work, hence they rejoined work.
He alleged that two months ago some soil heaps fell from beneath the Bakery wall. He said that after noticing slipping of soil heaps from beneath the Punch Bakery’s fencing wall, they informed the builder, contractor and supervisers, but in vain, so they continued the work as no one cared, showing bias towards them due to their caste.
Mr Prabhu Das lamented that due to the negligence of the builder, supervisor and contrac. tor, the workers, including students, were buried alive beneath the soil heaps and sought legal punishment against Ramesh, Ramu and the supervisers for the