Muthoot Finance MD suffers head injury in attack, CITU member arrested

George Alexander Muthoot
George Alexander Muthoot has been admitted to a private hospital after the attack.

Kochi: The managing director of Muthoot Finance company, which had witnessed a fierce workers' strike last month, was injured after miscreants allegedly pelted his vehicle with stones here on Tuesday morning.

George Alexander Muthoot has been admitted to a private hospital as he suffered head injury.

The finance company alleged that the CPM-affiliated Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) was behind the attack. A CITU worker, Salim hailing from Kaloor, was arrested following the attack.

The attack occurred at around 9 am in front of the IG office here.

Alexander's vehicle was nearing his office, when a stone landed on it breaking the windscreen and causing injuries to the back side of his head.

Alexander was seated in the front seat.

An employee of the company whose vehicle was following Alexander's vehicle said in all three vehicles came under attack.

"The stone was a very big one weighing around five kilograms and was meant to finish him. We identified the person to the police, but since CITU is the ruling party's trade union, the police never acts. In the past one week 20 of our staff who are not part of the strike have been attacked," said a company official.

The trade union has categorically denied the charge.

Muthoot finance MD suffers head injury in attack by alleged CITU men

"We don't believe in such type of violent agitation", CITU leader Ananthalavattom Anandan told media.

An official of the Kerala Chapter of the Confederation of Indian Industries condemned the incident, saying "it is a matter of great concern".

A section of employees, under the aegis of the CITU, has been agitating against the Muthoot management over dismissal of 160 staff from the company's 43 branches across the state in December.

The strike took place even as the Leftist government in Kerala has been showcasing the state as a leading destination for investment.

The incident took place just days ahead of a key investment meet, here over two days, on Thursday.

Leading industrialist Kochouseph Chittilapally said: "This is nothing new to Kerala and I myself had faced numerous such issues. This is exactly why, investors are wary of coming into Kerala and incidents like these don't augur well for either the state or for the investor."

Muthoot finance MD suffers head injury in attack by alleged CITU men

Muthoot Finance, a leading non-banking financial company, has 3,600 branches in the country, of which 600 branches are in Kerala. It employs over 30,000 people across the country.

The Muthoot management has stated that the unrest has been going on for the past three years owing to which the company has lost 66 per cent of its business in Kerala, which contributed 11 per cent of their all-India business when the strikes began in 2016, which is now down to four per cent.

(With inputs from agencies)

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