Najamus Saqib, senior regional manager of the Food Corporation of India (FCI), has applied to the courts to prevent the company’s workers from staging another demonstration outside its regional offices.

Tension escalated between FCI’s management and workers when a union office-bearer was suspended for allegedly assaulting a FCI official. FCI workers went on strike and held a press conference highlighting their resolve, which was followed by a demonstration.

According to a press release issued on Sunday, however, the court of the sub-judge has now directed the FCI workers’ union not to hold further demonstrations and not to hinder the movement of the FCI officials. It argued that the FCI is an essential public utility service, supplying grain to defence and paramilitary forces and the public, and that the distribution of grains (for winter stocking) should not be interrupted.

To date, conciliation proceedings have failed and the dispute is now likely to go before the government.