West Bengal Industrial minister Partho Chaterjee has sent a request letter to quit the hunger strike to the GJM Darjeeling Tarai Dooars Plantation Labour Union.
The general secretary of the union Suraj Subba said that, in the letter it has been mentioned that the ministry has been taking the issue pretty seriously but due to some official problems they have not been able to visit Darjeeling.
Since 27th March Ringtang Tea Garden laborers demanding for the re opening of the Tea Garden have been continuously sitting for indefinite hunger strike in front of the Darjeeling District Magistrate office. All together there are 7 labourers who are under hunger strike and their health condition is deteriorating day by day. As of now, there is no steps taken from Government nor from the owner of the Tea Garden and the plantation has union along with 87 tea garden members given an ultimatum to start an agitation shutting all the tea gardens of Darjeeling hill area. In this connection on 2nd April plantation union gave memorandum to Darjeeling ADM Gopal Lama demanding to reopen the tea garden as soon as possible.
This Ringtang Tea Garden was shut down from the year 1996 and 944 labourers are dependent on it. After the shut down of Tea Garden on this area there has been no source of income and the life of the labourers has become very critical. Children had stopped going schools. The labourers at hunger strike said that they will continue this hunger strike until and unless the tea garden is reopened and they don’t care even if they die. (TS)