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Mangalore, Jan. 2

THE employees of the Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Ltd observed a `black day' on Monday in protest against the closure of mining operations at Kudremukh in Chikmagalur district.

Nearly 1,500 members, including the employees and their family members, took out a procession from the main gate of the company's pellet plant in New Mangalore and blocked the national highway for 10 minutes.

Several members of the Kudremukh Employees' Federation addressed the protestors. The federation is a forum of four unions - Kudremukh Employees' Union, Kudremukh Shramashakti Sanghatan, Kudremukh Mazdoor Sangha and the Officers' Association of Kudremukh Iron Ore Company.

Mr S. Venkataraya, General Secretary of Kudremukh Shramashakti Sanghatan, said the Government should bring an ordinance to continue mining operations at Kudremukh. The employees will fight their case in the Supreme Court. He claimed that the company has won several prizes on environment protection. Kudremukh Iron Ore Company has stopped mining operations at Kudremukh following an order from the Supreme Court in this regard.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated January 3, 2006)
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