Extortion menace: Industries urged to register plaints against mathadi leaders


Top police and labour officials have urged industries in Pune to  come forward and register complaints in case they face problems of extortion from so-called mathadi (headloaders) leaders.

Senior officials from the police and the labour departments, who had gathered for a special meeting called by the Mahratta Chamber of Commerce Industries and Agriculture at Auto Cluster, Chinchwad, on Wednesday assured immediate action would be taken once complaints are received.

Dr Sanjay Shinde, joint commissioner of police, Pimpri Chinchwad Police Commissionerate, gave statistics on how the police has been cracking down on such complains. In 2022, seven cases of extortion were registered, which led to action against 22 people. This year, till date, the police has filed nine cases and 32 people have faced action.

“The nature of the complains are almost similar. They range from asking money to remove scrap or trying to extort money in the name of mathadi or other works from the industries,” said Shinde.

Commissioner of police Vinoy Kumar Choubey has made it clear that extortion from industries in the name of mathadi or other reasons would not be tolerated. “We would require  a complainant to act and I would urge industries to come forward and register complaints. If need be, the identity of the complaint would be kept confidential,” said Shinde.

Industrial units in Pimpri Chinchwad and rural areas of Pune have complained of extortion rackets run by the so-called mathadi leaders. Mathadi refers to headloaders, who are employed by the industries for loading and unloading material.

Maharashtra’s Mathadi Hamal and other Manual Workers Act, 1969 has set out rules and regulation about their employment as well as the way they should be paid. The law stipulates the

formation of the Mathadi Board, which oversees the implementation of law and various schemes and which has the power to issue notices to industries which defy this Act.

The Indian Express had reported on June 5 about the threat faced by industries from extortion rackets run by so-called mathadi leaders and RTI activists.

Shailendra Pol, Additional Labour Commissioner, Pune urged industries not to fall prey to blackmailers. “In case they try to issue threats, industries should lodge a complaint against them immediately,” he said.

Nikhil Walke, president of the Pimpri Chinchwad Mathadi Board, talked about the action taken by them, which has debarred some workers from reporting to duty in an inebriated state.

The mathadi leaders urged the industries to register with the Mathadi Board, and employ only those workers who are a part of registered mathadi unions.


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