Shyam SEL Power lauds WB Govt for solving Extortion Complaint

Kolkata: Shyam SEL Power Limited, which had lodged a police complaint alleging threats and extortion demands by criminals affiliated to the ruling Trinamool Congress, Sunday lauded the West Bengal government for taking “proper steps” which has “almost solved the problem”.

“Our plant is functioning well. A problem had cropped up. It has almost been solved. The government has taken some good steps,” a company official told media persons outside its plant at Jamuria in Burdwan district.

“The ruling party has also taken steps. So, our trust on the government and the administration has been reinforced,” the company’s assistant general manager (Plant HR) Sumit Chakraborty said.

He said the government had helped the plant in standing on its feet and hoped to get the same amount of cooperation in future.

“We don’t have any major issues now. We are getting full cooperation from the local administration.”

Shyam SEL Power Limited, an affiliate of the Shyam Group of Industries, which runs the 0.5 million tonnes per annum steel unit alongside a captive power plant at Jamuria, has intimated the chief minister’s office as also Industries Minister Amit Mitra and Labour Minister Moloy Ghatak of the threats and ransom demands.

The complaint to the Jamuria police station spoke of “life threat” to the senior officials, ransom demands, and “creating nuisance” at the plant premises and the railway siding.

The complaint specifically named two youths, who are local leaders of the Trinamool Congress.

However, on Saturday, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee termed the entire episode a “small matter” involving mere exchange of words and a “one-sided propaganda and canard”.

Banerjee said she herself enquired into the matter and found that the way the incident was being represented had no similarity with the real happenings.

“I have enquired myself and found that somebody was trying to grab the state government land,” she said.

The Trinamool has placed the two leaders under suspension.

The opposition parties said the company was forced to beat a hasty retreat after the chief minister’s admonitions.

“A day earlier the chief minister had called it a small issue. Those who want to do business, they have no other way than digesting the chief minister’s scoldings,” said Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sujon Chakraborty.

Former state Congress chief Pradip Bhattacharya said the company management was “terror-struck”.

“The poor souls have to do business. That is not possible by fighting with the government. So they have bowed their head”.

The first phase of the three-stage project — slated to produce 1.1 MTPA steel once complete — was made operational in 2011 by injecting Rs.1,500 crore. The expansion for the second phase was set to start after the Durga puja festival in October.

However, group vice president R.K. Chakraborty said two days back that the expansion work would be severely hit if the disturbances did not stop.