Jorhat, Aug 17: The management of Keyhung tea estate in Tinsukia district declared an indefinite lockout at the garden from today following the attack on the general manager, acting manager and other staff by workers after a boy got electrocuted and died in the labour lines last evening.
The garden management also lodged an FIR at Bordubi police station today and a case was registered in this connection.
Assistant labour commissioner B. Deka and officer in-charge of Bordubi police station Utpal Bora visited the garden today, which is about 9km from Tinsukia.
Deka said unless the matter was resolved and the culprits involved in vandalising the office and assaulting employees of the tea estate owned by McLeod Russel were arrested, the lockout would continue.
“The acting manager Mahendra Singh Shekhawat and general manager P.K. Kaul were assaulted by a group of workers and non-workers in the Kakajan division of the garden and a few staff and other workers who tried to protect the duo were also beaten up.
The office was ransacked and two vehicles were also damaged,” Deka said.
Trouble flared up after Rohit Mura, 14, son of a worker Albert, was electrocuted at his house in the labour quarters at Kakajan division. Albert got electrocuted while trying to save his son and Rohit’s younger sister was also injured.
“After questioning those present at the garden we came to know the boy was trying to connect a loose wire to a socket in order to run a fan when he got an electric shock. His father and younger sister were also injured and admitted at the hospital in the Bisakopi tea estate of the company,” Deka said.
The labour official said the situation at Keyhung was under control but tense.
N. Sonowal, superintending manager of the neighbouring Dirial tea estate, also owned by McLeod Russel, who is also chairman of Tingrai circle of the Assam Branch of Indian Tea Association (ABITA), was looking after the management of Keyhung, a member of ABITA.
Bora said investigation into the violence has started and that the people were not cooperating in identifying those involved in the incident. A police picket has been posted at the garden.
Garden workers blocked Tinsukia-Duliajan road this evening after Rohit’s body was brought from the hospital where the post-mortem was conducted.
The workers were demanding adequate compensation and proper wiring of the quarters, which they alleged were very old.