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The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Tea union leader, official assaulted

Jorhat, June 20: Labourers of Tyroon tea estate under Titabar police station here today beat up the labour welfare officer and the secretary of the garden unit of the Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS) for allegedly ill-treating them.

Work at the 922-hectare tea estate, which produces both orthodox and CTC tea, was disrupted for the day.

Tablin Ahmed, the secretary of the ACMS and Rinjumoni Bora, the labour welfare officer of the garden, have been admitted to Jorhat Medical College and Hospital.

Ahmed was hit in the head and his condition is stated to be critical.

The ACMS is the apex body of the tea labour community.

Trouble started this morning when the labourers gathered in front of the garden office to protest an incident where Ahmed allegedly misbehaved with a few women workers yesterday.

An Assam Tea Tribes Students’ Union (ATTSA) delegation, which had gone to the garden to submit a memorandum to the management, asking them to carry out the development work for the labourers, also arrived there at the same time.

Ahmed and Bora allegedly misbehaved with the ATTSA delegation by supporting the management, which resulted in the labourers assaulting the duo.

They were beaten for more than two hours and were kept captive inside the garden office until police arrived and rescued the duo.

A police picket has been deputed in the tea estate to provide security to the executives.

An ATTSA leader from Titabar said the labourers of the garden were leading a pathetic life with no drinking water, proper housing or medical facilities.

“Ahmed, who is also a local Congress leader, has been supporting the management and ill-treating the labourers. The labour welfare officer has also been misbehaving with the labourers since a long time. With today’s incident the labour community was totally enraged with the management and the duo,” the ATTSA leader said.

The labourers also dissolved the ACMS unit of the tea estate by forming a new committee today.

“The ACMS should work for the development of the labourers, but it was just the opposite at Tyroon tea estate. Therefore, we have dissolved the old committee and formed a new one,” a labourer of the tea estate said, when contacted over phone.