BIRATNAGAR, Nov 1: The UCPN Maoist-affiliated All Nepal Trade Union Federation (ANTUF) has been found forcibly collecting monthly donations from industries operating along the Morang-Sunsari industrial corridor. This was revealed when two factions of the trade union disputed over who should collect the donation.
According to local entrepreneurs, the union was collecting Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000 from each of the 20 industries running along the corridor.
The dispute came to light after the central level members of ANTUF Sagar Rai, Rajesh Yadav and Ganga Thapa were suspended by the new leadership of the trade union. With the change in leadership, Gyan Bahadur BK, office secretary at Morang ANTUF, was entrusted with collecting donations from the local industrialists.
Bhanu Mainali, coordinator of ANTUF for Kochila State, which includes Jhapa, Morang and Sunsari, claimed that he had issued a statement last week expressing commitment to take action against those found forcibly collecting donations from industrialists and businessmen.
However, Republica has come into possession of a letter sent by the union authorizing BK to collect donations from industrialists along the corridor.
Reliable sources confirmed that the union has been collecting donations from businessmen over the last three years. The union was found to have collected money from 20 industries including Aarati Strips, Rathi Group, Pioneer Wires, Premiere Wires, Shivam Plastic and Dugar Spice.
Central member of ANTFU Tej Lal Karna has asked industrialist to continue paying donations.
Upendra Rai, coordinator of ANTUF, Morang said the industrialists were confused because of the dispute within the union. Rai claimed that the donations were not being collected forcibly. “Industries are voluntarily supporting us," said Rai.