x

Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 25 June 2018

Worker 'started fires on site and encouraged others to protest at colleague's death' 

Indian construction worker is accused at Dubai court of putting people's lives at risk with behaviour after death of colleague

A 42-year-old construction worker is accused of setting fire to a building on site and risking the lives of others in protest at working conditions after a colleague died, heard Dubai Criminal Court on Sunday.

Prosecutors said that on May 18, the Indian defendant was among a number of labourers who started the fire in a warehouse in an under-construction development in Dubai.

His colleague had died that morning and the defendant allegedly started encouraging his colleagues to protest.

“After the worker died due to natural causes, everything went well, and we reported the death to the police, so we can arrange to send the dead body home,” said a Sudanese representative of the construction company.

"A few hours later, the defendant started talking to other workers and inciting them to protest."

He added that the defendant and the other workers set fire to a warehouse then damaged a number of villas in the development.

“They also damaged a number of the company’s vehicles and other equipment,” said the representative, who called police.

Riot police arrived and got the angry workers under control before arresting the defendant.

“We received a report of the incident and, when we headed there, other workers said that the defendant was behind what happened,” said an Emirati policeman, 37.

Dh12.6 million in damages was caused by the workers, records show.

In court on Sunday morning, the Indian denied charges of staring fire, risking lives and causing damage.

A verdict in expected on October 29.