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JMM protests shifting of Tata group's offices to another state

Ranchi, Nov 18 (IANS) The Tata group of companies is facing the ire of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, which has put forth several demands, including 75 per cent reservation to locals in its various establishments located in the state.

The JMM's five MLAs along with locals on Wednesday protested the shifting of the headquarters of Tata Motors and Tata Cummins Company to Pune.

Thousands of people staged demonstrations for 10 to 12 hours at various offices of the company from Jamshedpur to Chaibasa. This affected production of the company's iron ore mines. The JMM has warned that this one-day agitation is just a trailer, if the company does not agree to the demands, more protests will be held.

The JMM has called its agitation as 'Hudka Jam'. The party's opposition is against shifting of the registered office of Tata Cummins and Tata Motors to Pune. The party has said it will take away employment opportunities of thousands of locals.

In Jamshedpur, thousands of people led by JMM MLAs gheraoed the main gates of Tata Steel, Tata Motors and Tata Cummins offices for 12 hours on Wednesday. In Chaibasa, the main gate of the mine was blocked from 6 a.m. on Wednesday till late night. Hundreds of JMM workers gathered outside the main gates of the companies and railway sidings carrying flags and banners. Work of loading and unloading of iron ore was badly disrupted due to the stir.

MLA Sukhram Oraon said, "the Jharkhand government has decided in the interest of the people that all private companies located in the state will have to give 75 per cent jobs to the locals in their establishments. To avoid this compulsion, the headquarters of Tata Motors and Tata Cummins are being shifted to Pune (Maharashtra)."

The MLAs who led the protest in Jamshedpur included Ramdas Soren, Sanjeev Sardar, Mangal Kalindi, Samir Mohanty and Savita Mahto.

However, Tata Cummins has issued a statement saying that the company is only shifting its registered office. "This will not affect the functioning of the company in Jharkhand or Jamshedpur. We in the company comply with all labour laws and other rules of the state government."

It added, "we are fully committed to carry out our business in Jamshedpur. As before, we will continue to contribute to the development and prosperity of Jharkhand."