Tea workers stage 2-hr blockade in Kamrup district

GUWAHATI: Workers of the Rani Tea Estate and locals on Monday staged a two-hour road blockade on the North Eastern Council road at Rani in Kamrup from 11:30 am, protesting against the alleged harassment of police on president of Rani Aanchalik Nagarik Adhikar Sangram Samity, Dinesh Das.

Police on Saturday went to the residence of Das, who was leading a movement by tea workers seeking incorporation of the tea estate in the Assam Tea Corporation and revival of the garden that was shut down after workers set it afire on March 22 last year.

Das alleged that police were harassing him and said the officers told his family that he was wanted in connection with a case filed by Mridul Kumar Bhattacharyya, the owner of the tea estate.

The incidents of violence that led to shutdown of the Rani tea estate was over 18 months old now, but the plight of 300 workers rendered jobless after the closure of the garden still continues to be unnoticed.

Workers of the tea estate had set afire the houses inside the garden after the proprietor of the tea estate Mridul Kumar Bhattacharya allegedly shot a 14-year-old boy Pradip Murari when NREGA workers and locals went to seek clarification from him on March 22, 2010 after Bhattacharya allegedly assaulted a woman, Jogmaya Boro, after she had sneaked into the tea estate.

Police, however, said there was no arrest warrant against him and police wanted him for queries regarding the incident.

The protesters withdrew the blockade after officers from Palashbari police station assured them that there was no intention to arrest Das.

Officials from Palashbari Revenue Circle too rushed to the spot after hundreds of workers intensified protest Monday morning.


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