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Worker dies in closed Red Bank tea garden

July 7: A worker of Red Bank Tea Estate in the Dooars who was suffering from paralysis died today, the 31st death in the garden ever since it was shut in October last year.

Sane Tamang, 57, breathed his last in his hut in the garden in Nagrakata. He had been suffering from paralysis for the past two years.

“Tamang was ill and under treatment at a government hospital in Birpara. He returned home last week. He has two sons who went to other states in search of jobs and there was nobody else at his home to take care of him. Tamang’s wife had predeceased him. For the past two days, he had been too ill to visit the government health centre in Birpara,” said a resident of Red Bank, 70km from Siliguri.

He added that Tamang hadn’t received medical help from the authorities.

Last week, another labourer, Shekhar Narjinari, 40, had died from suspected jaundice in the garden. Sources in Red Bank said with Tamang’s death, 31 people had died in the garden since its closure.

Medical teams are supposed to go to the garden thrice a week, but there are charges that the visits are irregular. “Despite several reminders, medical teams don’t visit closed tea gardens in the Dooars regularly. There were instances of workers dying without medical assistance,” said Ziaur Alam, the Jalpaiguri district secretary of the CITU.

In another development, the Jalpaiguri district administration will hold a meeting with the owner of the closed Raipur Tea Estate and the representatives of a planter who had evinced interest in buying the garden on July 9.

Sourav Chakraborty, Jalpaiguri district Trinamul president, said: “Siliguri-based planter Ajit Agarwal has shown interest in buying Raipur garden. District authorities told me a meeting would be held at Circuit House in Jalpaiguri and Agarwal’s representatives and current owner Subrata Saha would be present.”

A similar meeting couldn’t be held today as Saha couldn’t be contacted by the district authorities.


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