26 May, 2011. METTUR — Ganapathy, a 55-year old contract worker, died while unloading coal from rail wagons in Vedanta-subsidiary MALCO’s coalyard in Mettur Railway Station. MALCO employees removed the body to Ganapathy’s native place in Mallur, on the Salem Dharmapuri road. The incident happened after midnight on 26 May. No First Information Report was filed in the police station where the fatal accident occurred. Mr. Nataraj, Inspector of Karumalaikoodal Police Station, refused to register an FIR or even accept a complaint from Gonur West Agriculturists Development Union when farmers from the Union visited the police station at around 11 a.m. According to Ganesan, a worker from the GWADU, several MALCO staff and Malco’s coal unloading contractor Mr. Balan were present in the police station at the time that Mr. Nataraj expressed his inability to register an FIR without knowing the circumstances of his death. According to Mr. Ganapathy’s relatives in Mallur, an FIR had been registered in Mallur, and the body sent for post-mortem to the Salem Government Hospital.
Under Indian criminal law, any untoward incident or suspected crime needs to be registered in the police station within whose jurisdiction the incident occurred.
MALCO claims it received an international safety award from the Minnesota Safety Council in 2007, and the State Safety Award from the Inspector of Factories in 2007.