Labourers back at work after Ras Al Khaimah riot
RAS AL KHAIMAH // Work has resumed on a construction site where labourers staged a violent protest after the apparent suicide of one of their colleagues.
On Saturday, labourers at Emirates National School building site destroyed 17 cars and set fire to offices and fuel tanks after a man fell to his death from the fifth floor of the building.
Police made several arrests. A spokesman said: “Currently everything that we have that is related to the strike and the case, we handed over to the public prosecution office of Ras Al Khaimah.
“The investigation is ongoing and they are taking it from there. Our job was to quell the strike and handle the situation. Their job is to investigate and prosecute.”
The labourers are employed by Ghantoot Transport and General Contracting, a private company in Abu Dhabi.
Abdul Jabbar, head of human resources at the company, said: “The worker who died is from India and he would have some tension and family dispute which could have led to losing the focus and falling down.
“A large number of our workers are working there. Unfortunately, he fell from the fifth floor despite all safety measures in place.”
Mr Jabbar said that “you can’t fight destiny”, and if “Allah has written something for you, that would have to happen and nobody can prevent it. Despite all safety measures in place on site, it happened”.
“However, we are going to compensate the victim’s family for their loss. The insurance company will pay to the family and would extend all support for the victim’s family. All our employees are fully insured,” Mr Jabbar said.
The Indian consulate in Dubai is working with the contracting company to ensure the victim’s family receive their rights. Deputy consul general K Muraleedharan said: “The consulate is in talks with the company to … repatriate his body to India.”
The Ministry of Labour declined to comment.
Residents in the area said they were still in shock after the incident. “It’s a quiet area of town. Things like this do not happen here and definitely not to this extent – 17 cars were torched,” said Shamma K, 42, a mother of three.
“Can you imagine the flames? It was a scary sight to see. The sky was orange in the evening. There was fear that they might move and destroy things door-to-door. I locked myself and children in.”