Kizhakkambalam violence: Kitex offers to identify arsonists, demands exemplary punishment

(L) Kitex GroupSabu M Jacob. (R) When a police jeep was set ablaze during the clash.

Kochi: The Kitex Group will cooperate with the investigation into the violence and arson involving the firm's employees at Kizhakkambalam, which left five police officers, including a Circle Inspector, injured, their management says.

Police were attacked when they intervened in a clash between two groups of workers in the early hours of Sunday. One police vehicle was set on fire by the mob.

Seeking exemplary punishment to those involved, the firm's Managing Director, Sabu M Jacob said CCTV visuals would be used to identify the guest workers who had attacked the police, and they would be handed over to the investigators.

One such suspected arsonist in hiding was identified and handed over to the police, he said, adding that all those 155 people who were arrested were not involved in the violent acts.

Jacob said as many as 50 people might have been involved in the violent incidents. Police might have mistook several employees as accused since most of them look alike, and due to unfamiliar language .

Supervisors' help would be sought to identify the culprits using CCTV visuals, Jacob said.

Terming the incidents unexpected, he said those from Nagaland and Manipur were behind the violence. The incidents began when other workers objected when a group went to each room, knocking at doors, and singing Christmas carols accompanied by makeshift tin drums. The workers split into two groups and clashed, when one section demanded they wanted to sleep undisturbed.

Jacob said the security staff and supervisors, outnumbered by troublemakers, informed the police when the situation went out of control. The industrialist said the workers seemed to be under the influence of drugs.

"Initially it was thought that they were drunk, but they had used some drug in excess. This was the first time that these many people had come together and turned against the police," he said.

Jacob said police detained all those non-Keralites who were living in three quarters on the campus, housing at least 1,100 people. Most of them had come out of their quarters on hearing the carol and the commotion.

He said a probe has been initiated to find the source of the drug. "Several of them might have consumed it without knowing. Innocent people, too, may have been arrested," Jacob added.

He further said none of them were criminals or with criminal antecedents. "This incident happened only because they had used drugs. Most of them had not gone out of the quarters over the past one-and-a-half years. So, we need to know the source of the drug."

Jacob said Kitex would never hush up a crime, even if minor. "Exemplary punishment should be handed down to those involved in the crime since such incidents could happen elsewhere," he added.


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