Vedanta Chimney Disaster - Govt issues look-out notices against Chinese workers of Balco plant
As was feared, the nexus of the state with the Balco is established by the fact that they have allowed the chinese team to flee. The act of the government to bolt the stable after horses have run away. Shame on such governance. Moral of rulers going down to gutters. I have rasied the matter again and again that those who should be behind the bars are protected by none other than the state government. They were not only escorted out of Korba but were provided shelter at Community Centre at Bilaspur under police protection. They sliped out in groups to Raipur under the cover of the night, reports suggests that they stayed at posh Hotel Babylon at Raipur and from there to Raipur Airport where they have boarded the flight to New Delhi and Kolkatta to flee the country.
I share here below the news published online in Indianexpress.com
The government has issued country-wide look-out circulars (LOC) at all airports and ports of exit against 89 Chinese engineers and workmen employed at the Bharat Aluminium Company Limited (BALCO) thermal power plant in Korba, Chhattisgarh, where a chimney collapse on September 23 left more than 45 dead.
The government has given the passport details of these Chinese personnel to immigration authorities and asked them to ensure that they do not leave the country and assist the police investigations into the incident if required.
New Delhi was forced to issue the LOC after all the 89 Chinese personnel, employed by Shandong Electric Power Construction Corporation (SEPCO), China, for the construction of the thermal plant for BALCO, fled Korba after the chimney collapsed.
On Friday night, the immigration authorities at the IGIA airport in Delhi intercepted four Chinese engineers trying to board a flight to Beijing. These engineers were directed to report to the Superintendent of Police, Korba, and asked not to leave the country till the statements of those involved are taken.
This step by New Delhi has raised an alarm in Beijing with Chinese Ambassador to India Zhang Yan seeking an urgent meeting with Joint Secretary (East Asia) Vijay Gokhale on Saturday and complaining about Chinese workers being held in India. However, New Delhi explained its position to Ambassador Zhang as 70 persons are feared dead in the tragedy and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh has already ordered a judicial inquiry.
The Chhattisgarh police has already questioned eight Chinese employees of SEPCO in connection with the case registered against the company following the collapse of the chimney.
"We had detained eight Chinese staff, including three women, from the airport following a communication from the Korba superintendent of police to the airport officials that they could be required in connection with the investigations," Raipur district superintendent of police Amit Kumar said. "After questioning, the Korba police finally cleared them and said that they were no longer required (for the investigation)", he said, adding that all of them left for New Delhi by the evening flight.
A large number of Chinese employees, mostly engineers, had fled Korba fearing that workers and even locals could attack them after the chimney at the power plant site, which was being constructed by the Chinese company, collapsed. Initially, many of them checked into hotels at Bilaspur and Raipur from where they moved to Delhi and Kolkata, police sources said. Police have registered a case against BALCO, SEPCO and Gannon Dunkerly and Company Limited (GDCL). Police said GDCL staff, too, fled Korba, fearing a backlash.
As many as 45 bodies have been so far retrieved from the debris and operations for clearing the debris would take 24 more hours.
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