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Union pleads for Abani family

May 3: The Guwahati division of Insurance Employees' Association has appealed to the central office in Mumbai to revoke the termination order of missing LIC employee and poet Abani Chakraborty.

The city union, through its zonal branch at Calcutta, has demanded a 'deemed death' status for the missing poet so that his family can apply for the complete compensation package.

'When the court has issued a deemed death certificate for Chakraborty, it is unjustified on the part of the central office to stick on to its earlier position of terminating the missing poet,' said Satanjiv Das, general secretary of the city union. 'Once the central office revokes Chakraborty's termination, his family will be eligible for the complete compensation package.'

Incidentally, if a person has been missing for seven years at a stretch, he is presumed to be dead by the law and the court issues a certificate declaring the missing person as deemed dead.

Chakraborty, a reputed Assamese poet of his time, had left home for his evening stroll on November 12, 1994 never to return. A day after his disappearance, his family members lodged an FIR at the Latasil police station and informed his employers, LIC, as well. However, Chakraborty was dismissed from service on the plea of unauthorised absence from duty.

'My husband was removed from his job by the branch without informing us and without giving us any opportunity to respond,' complained Gayatri Chakraborty. 'This decision is extremely unjust and an outrage of the principles of natural justice and reason. The LIC has deprived us of a job on compensatory ground even when the court has certified my husband as deemed dead.'

The Chakraborty family had, with the union's help, submitted their last appeal to the Mumbai office in January. They are still waiting for a reply.

'The association will back the family till justice is delivered. We have evidence of a full package being released to the family of another missing employee, S.R. Pal, as well as a job for his closest kin,' said Das. 'Abani Chakraborty's family has waited for 10 long years for justice. We will not rest till it is delivered.'

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