The Managing Director of Muthoot Finance, George Alexander, was injured after an unknown person allgedly pelted his car with stones on Tuesday. Alexander, who suffered a head injury, has been admitted to Medical Trust hospital in Kochi.
According to visuals aired in local TV channels, a person hurled stones at Alexander's car. This happened at a time when the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) has been holding protest against the company in front of its corporate office for the last few days.
While there have been reports that the miscreant could be one of the protestors, CITU refuted the charge stating the protest has been non violent. State Labor Minister T P Ramakrishnan also reportedly said that the trade unionists might not have committed the attack.
Muthoot Finance had earlier said that it will take steps to reduce its presence in the state and alleged that its branches in its home turf of Kerala are being forcefully closed by CITU, the trade union of the state's ruling party, Communist Party of India (Marxist).
"Inspite of the above low business volume, company has shown keenness to continue its business in Kerala as it is our home state. But, if the threatening and forceful closure of our branches by the CITU workers is continued and branch remain closed due to no fault of ours, we will have no other option but to close down those branches which remain closed due to this forceful closure and retrench the employees of those branches," it said in August, 2019.
The incident, which took place two days before a major investor summit in the state, is expected to make a dent on the investor friendly image the state government has been trying to build in the recent past.
The state government is conducting Ascend Kerla 2020, a global investors meet in Kochi on January 9 and 10, where it will be showcasing over 100 projects in petrochemicals, agro and food processing, defence, life sciences, aeropolis, tourism and hospitality, ports and harbour, fisheries, infrastructure, mobility development, electronic hardware manufacturing, among others. Industrialists from India and abroad are expected to take part in the event.