The Telegraph
Sunday , July 25 , 2010
Since 1st March, 1999
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Neglect cry in death of woman
Residents gather at the tea estate on Saturday. Picture by Eastern Projections

Dibrugarh, July 24: The death of a pregnant woman at Nandanban tea estate in Dibrugarh district last night, allgedly because of the garden management’s neglect in providing medical assistance, has sparked tension in the estate.

Family members of Seema Demta, 21, alleged that the woman, who was having labour pain since daytime, died around 8pm after garden manager Shuva Dowerah refused to provide an ambulance to take her to Dibrugarh for medical assistance.

As news of Seema’s death broke out, workers laid siege to the manager’s bungalow. Dowerah, however, managed to flee.

“We repeatedly pleaded before the garden manager to provide us an ambulance as Seema was writhing in pain but he advised us to call the Mrityunjoy 108 ambulance service,” Seema’s husband, Sujit, said.

Sujit’s father, William, is a permanent worker of the estate that is owned by Sanjeev Chakravarty of Dibrugarh.

From early this morning, workers and people of the locality gathered on the garden office premises. As the office staff told the workers that the manager was not in, the mob started ransacking the office.

The Dibrugarh district administration sent Tengakhat revenue circle officer Pranab Kumar Bora and a police contingent, led by the officer-in-charge of Tengakhat police station, Amulya Gogoi, to control the situation.

Later, a meeting was held at the police station. It was attended by the Chakravarty, the additional SP (HQ) of Dibrugarh, Debasish Sarma, and representatives of the All Assam Tea Tribes Students Association, led by the president of the Dibrugarh district committee, Lazar Nanda.

“We have demanded arrest of and strict action against the manager, a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the victim’s kin, a permanent job for a family member and appointment of a doctor at the garden, failing which we will launch an agitation,” Nanda said.

Chakravarty handed over Rs 10,000 to the victim’s family as interim relief and assured them that a doctor would be appointed in the garden within three months.

Sarma said the police were on the look out for the manager.

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