Temporary fire department workers demonstrate in Kolkata

Kolkata: Around 100 temporary workers of the West Bengal fire department demonstrated in Kolkata demanding job security and roster duty on Saturday, a day after one of their colleagues was killed in an accident, an official said.

They blocked Deshapran Sasmal Road in front of the Tollygunge Fire Station in South Kolkata for some time.

“We are working day in day out risking our lives. We are not put on any proper shift. We are not given minimum perks for the job. Rather, we face salary cuts if we fail to come for work. We do not get minimum respect,” a protesting worker said on condition of anonymity.

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The agitating workers also demanded that they be provided with personal protective equipment (PPE) for working during this ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Their agitation followed the death of 22-year-old Debnarayan Paul, a temporary worker, in a freak accident on Friday.

Paul was killed after a pole fell on him when a fire tender driven by station master of Tollygunge Fire Station Krishnendu Kundal hit it. Kundal was arrested.

On Wednesday, 27-year-old firefighter Sukanta Singha Roy, an Auxillary Fire Operator of the Bally Fire Station in Howrah district was electrocuted to death after he came in contact with a live wire while cutting branches of an uprooted tree.

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Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh for Singha Roy’s family and offered a permanent state government job for anyone of his family members.

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