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Bid to attack tea official, worker held

Siliguri, March 30: A worker of Gopaldhara Tea Estate today allegedly entered the manager’s bungalow in a drunken state and tried to attack the official with a khukuri after the labourer was told that his wages would be deducted for not working full day for the past few days.

Manager Mahendra Khati was not hurt as he and his servants managed to get hold of worker Umesh Thapa, 30, and took him away.

Around 1.30pm, Thapa went to the manager’s bungalow.

“He told the cook that he wanted to meet me. I was having lunch at that time and the cook asked him to wait. The worker was drunk and he suddenly took out a khukuri. He pushed the cook away and entered the bungalow. As one of our domestic tried to stop him, the worker pushed her away too and came and stood in front of me. He accused me of changing his place of work and telling him that his wages would be deducted as he had worked half-day and tried to attack me with the weapon.”

Khati managed to snatch the khukuri from Thapa. “My wife and three-year-old child got afraid because of the sudden attack. Even while leaving, he was abusing me,” he said.

The garden, owned by Gopaldhara Tea Company Pvt Ltd is near Mirik, 60km from here. It has around 428 workers.

Thapa was later arrested. Khati filed a complaint with Sokhiapokhri police saying Thapa tried to attack him and “manhandled” his domestic.

Sandeep Mukherjee, principal advisor to Darjeeling Tea Association, said: “The manager escaped unhurt. The police are patrolling the garden.”

On March 27, an assistant manager of Dalmore estate was hacked to death by a worker who alleged that the official had misbehaved with his wife.