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Carron warned of tea action

Siliguri, Nov. 11: The subdivisional officer of Malbazar has warned the management of the closed Carron Tea Estate that action would be taken against it if its representatives fail to attend a tripartite meeting on Tuesday, aimed to reopen the garden.

The management of the garden in Nagrakata block did not attend the last two meetings convened by the administration to end the stalemate. The estate has been shut since October 2 following an alleged assault on some managerial staff by a section of workers the previous day.

A letter (in the possession of The Telegraph) written by SDO Nilkamal Biswas to the manager of Carron yesterday said: “You are hereby requested to attend the meeting positively. Furthermore, the failure on your part to attend the meeting would give rise to the possibility of letting the matter go out of hand in which circumstances we will be forced to act against you….”

Biswas had convened a meeting on October 26 between the owner and representatives of the two trade unions operating in the estate. Another meeting was called by the assistant labour commissioner in Malbazar. The SDO’s move, which is a departure from the conciliatory tone adopted by the administration to convince managements to reopen locked out estates, has drawn flak from the owner.

“Even though we have formally announced lockout in the garden for lawlessness, the SDO has blamed us for abandoning the garden,” said P.K. Basu, the owner, over the phone from Calcutta. He alleged that the administration, instead of warning the workers who had attacked the managers, was training guns on the owner.

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