Chennai (MAS): A row over signing the attendance book has led to an attack on a railway electrical engineer on Saturday and caused widespread resentment among the railway’s officer cadre in Chennai.
According to the Southern Railway Officers’ Association (SROA), Satyarathan, Divisional Electrical Engineer was manhandled when he had gone to the EMU Car Shed in Velachery to enquire into a complaint from the senior section engineer that staff members were being obstructed from signing the attendance register by some leaders of the Southern Railway Mazdoor Union (SRMU).
Four supervisors were also manhandled and, to add insult to injury, the SRMU fabricated a sexual harassment charge against the officer, a spokesman for SROA said. The SROA pointed out that the system of signing a register instead of marking ‘P’, as was the practice until recently, had been reintroduced, “much against the will of the SRMU,” after the vigilance wing detected a case where a deceased employee was marked ‘P’ and regular salary deposited in his name.
When contacted, a spokesman for SRMU alleged that the charges of manhandling had been fabricated to cover up an officer’s misbehaviour with a woman office-bearer of the SRMU.