In a statement, issued in the wee hours of June 11, SAIL had attributed Srivastava’s death on June 10 night to cardiac arrest, and said the deceased was Covid-19 negative.
The employees’ union at SAIL’s corporate office at Lodhi Road in Delhi has demanded an independent inquiry into the death of the company’s personnel director, Atul Srivastava. In a statement, issued in the wee hours of June 11, SAIL had attributed Srivastava’s death on June 10 night to cardiac arrest, and said the deceased was Covid-19 negative.
“There is a clear attempt to suppress facts and there is a deliberate attempt to show the death of Late Shri Srivastava as a death due to natural causes. Further, we have come to know that the death certificate issued by concerned agencies has also mentioned that the deceased was Covid positive,” SAIL Employees Union (Corporate Office) alleged in a letter, dated June 11, addressed to company chairman Anil Kumar Chaudhary.
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To further consolidate its claim, the union said the deceased was “incidentally” cremated at the Punjabi Bagh Crematorium, which is the designated crematorium for deaths occurring due to Covid-19 in Delhi.
The union’s general secretary Raj Solanki also demanded that till the time a detailed report was submitted by the inquiring authorities, all employees, executives and non-executives, might be given the free will to decide whether they should attend office or not, considering the current situation prevalent at the corporate office.
Solanki said, Srivastava “had to give up his life as a consequence of following orders thrust upon him and all employees of SAIL in general, by your office.”
The union has also pointed finger at the chairman over handling of the current situation. “We have come to realise that during your tenure as chairman, employee welfare and safety is not an area of concern, the handling of the current situation by you and your team is shocking to say the least and is tantamount to criminal negligence,” Solanki said.
Around 40 employees of the company, including its chairman, and a clutch of executives on the board posted in the corporate office at Lodhi Road has tested Covid-19 positive.