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Fellow gurkhas demand suitable relief for family

Tense moments prevailed at the Kotagiri Government Hospital for a few hours on Monday as fellow Gurkhas, from Nepal, refused to collect the body of the security guard Om Bahadur (50), who was murdered by an unidentified gang, at Kodanad Estate on Monday morning.

Fellow gurkhas demand suitable relief for family
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Gurkhas thronged Kotagiri GH seeking compensation for the slain guard (Photo: S Mahesh Kumar)

Coimbatore

More than 30 persons, working as security guards in Coimbatore and nearby areas, thronged the government hospital and made allegations against Kodanad Estate management. They said that the management neither listened to the long pending pleas of the dozens of security guards from Nepal, who worked there, nor cared for their welfare. 

The Nepali security guards claimed that the estate had only one guard at each gate and this was not enough for such a big estate. They said that the management asked the security guards, who asked for an additional hand at the gate, to quit if they were not ready to work. They also alleged that their pay was meagre. Even those working for more than 12 years were getting a mere Rs 9,000 a month, they said. 

They added that the guards had to work for 12 hours a day on a shift basis and were not given any additional allowance but for a mere Rs 30 per hour for over time. Asking the estate management to commit the compensation that would be given to the victim’s family they refused to collect Om’s body. 

The estate manager Natarajan then held talks with a couple of the guards, who worked at the estate, for more than two hours in the presence of Rajya Sabha MP KR Arjunan, Coimbatore MP P Nagarajan and Coonoor MLA A Ramu. On reaching an agreement after the talks, the protesting guards accepted Om’s body shortly after 6 pm.

The Kodanad Estate management assured to extend all possible financial assistance and other benefits to the family of the slain guard. Final rites are expected to be performed after the victim’s family arrives here.

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