Sabu Jacob who heads Kitex garments from where 162 workers, all migrant labourers, were taken into custody and their arrest recorded on Monday by the police, said of these only 13 and another 10 whom they have identified are the real accused who created a ruckus on Saturday night by attacking the police and burning two police jeeps.
“They (all political parties including the Kerala government) have an axe to grind against me and they are using my workers and arresting them. The incident occurred on Saturday midnight and two hours later the police came into the hostel where my employees stay and arrested 162 of them staying in dormitory 10, 11 and 12,” said Jacob.
“984 employees live in 12 dormitories, of which 499 are Malayalees and the rest migrant labourers from various states. The violence took place starting from 10 to 2 am. Two hours later a huge police force came and took away only 162 migrant labourers after leaving out Malayalees. We wish to know how did the police arrest them, what evidence do they have,” asked Jacob.
He said that after scanning the footage from CCTVs installed in the premises it was identified that 23 of the arrested 162 workers created trouble.
“It took us 36 hours to identify the accused and we are baffled how the police without any evidence arrested innocent workers. The authorities should not forget that lakhs of Keralites work in several states from where these innocent migrant labourers presently arrested hail from. I have been getting numerous phone calls from various states of the arrested workers. We will go to any extent to protect innocent workers and in a day or two our legal team will do the needful,” said Jacob.
He said on examination of the CCTV footage they have identified another 11 of their workers who created trouble and have informed the police and thus the total number of workers who indulged in violence is 23.
In the remand report filed by the police on Monday, two different cases have been filed against the 162 arrested people and it includes a murderous attack on Circle Inspector V.P. Sajan and another case for destruction of public property to the tune of Rs 12 lakh.
The incident occurred on Saturday night following a dispute over the Christmas Carol music team.
The police arrived at the scene and tried to disperse the mob of clashing workers, who attacked the police with stones and rods. Five policemen were injured and have been admitted to the hospital.
The workers also burnt two police jeeps. A strong police contingent arrived at the scene and lathicharged the workers bringing the situation under control.
Kitex and Jacob have been in the news earlier this year when he decided to move one of his units to Telangana over the advances made by various political parties here. He was given a red carpet welcome by the Telangana government.