LK Mirchandani office eviction

Vol 27, PW 7 (04 Apr 24) News in Brief

LK Mirchandani, president of the All India ONGC Ex-Employees Welfare Association (OSEWA), is working out of Bandra railway station in Mumbai after he was barred from using ONGC's office space.

Mirchandani claims ONGC's estate department threw him out of the Vasudhara Bhawan office building in Mumbai after a verbal warning on March 20 (2024). On March 28 (2024), Mirchandani wrote to ONGC chairman Arun Kumar Singh, saying: "Our plea seeks not just an allocation of office space, but a recognition of the sacrifices and unwavering dedication of our members, whose lives have been intertwined with the legacy of ONGC".

He adds: "For years, we have operated from a modest room in Vasudhara Bhavan, upholding the ethos of care and discipline, while offering solace and support to former senior and super senior ONGC employees." Mirchandani said that on March 18 (2024), he was verbally informed by ONGC general manager (in-charge) estate Manendra Kumar to vacate the office without any reason.

"On March 19 (2024), they physically stopped me from entering the building at 10.30am, and as a protest, I sat on a hunger strike near the security gate, following which they allowed me to come inside at 1.20pm," writes Mirchandani. On March 20 (2024), Kumar sealed the OSEWA office.

In response, Mirchandani filed a police complaint. On March 26 (2024), OSEWA staff were allowed to recover their belongings from the office, which was then locked and sealed.

"Since we were thrown out, I have been working from Bandra railway station," Mirchandani tells us. Some believe Mirchandani has been targeted because he often writes to the government complaining against ONGC chairman AK Singh.

On March 26 (2024), Mirchandani wrote to ONGC estate manager Kumar threatening legal action: "Let it be known that management's conduct in this matter will not go unchallenged, and we will pursue all available avenues to seek redress and rectify this grievance," wrote the OSEWA chief. "The intimidation and harassment we have endured will not deter us from standing up for what is right and just."