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Regular-article-logo Thursday, 18 July 2024

Rosekandy tea estate workers end strike after 3 weeks

All the labourers of the garden had gone on strike on June 9, demanding the ouster of general manager Ishvarbhai Ubhadia

Satananda Bhattacharjee Hailakandi Published 01.07.19, 07:56 PM
Labourers pluck tea in Rosekandy on Monday.

Labourers pluck tea in Rosekandy on Monday. Picture by Satananda Bhattacharjee

The labourers of Rosekandy tea estate in Cachar district of South Assam’s Barak Valley withdrew their strike after three weeks on Monday and more than half of them resumed their duties.

All the labourers of the garden had gone on strike on June 9, demanding the ouster of general manager Ishvarbhai Ubhadia.

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Ubhadia told The Telegraph that of the garden’s 720 permanent workers, about 400 labourers, who are registered under Barak Cha Shramik Union, have resumed their duties. “The rest might have gone out of the tea estate. After hearing that the strike is withdrawn, they may join in the next few days,” he added.

A team of Barak Cha Shramik Union had visited the garden on Sunday, held discussions with the striking labourers and urged them to resume their duties.

The union’s assistant general secretary, Dinanath Baroi, said they organised the meeting at Rosekandy after obtaining permission from the district administration, as Section 144 of the CrPC is still in force in the garden. He said the meeting was conducted by Lakhipur MLA Rajdeep Goala and attended by Algapur MLA Nijam Uddin Choudhury and almost all the labourers of the garden and their leaders.

Babul Kumar, who had spearheaded the protest, alleged that 126 houses under Indira Awas Yojana were sanctioned for some inhabitants of the garden a few years back but these were not implemented because of obstruction by the garden authorities.

Leaders of the union urged the labourers to resume work, saying that the garden authorities may declare a lockout if the strike continues because the garden can’t bear huge losses.

Baroi said the labourers joined duty on some conditions. They demanded that Ubhadia should be kept away during the inquiry — he should stay at his bungalow — and he should not interfere in the affairs of the garden till the report of the 11-member inquiry committee constituted by the district administration is submitted. They urged the committee to start the inquiry.

Rosekandy tea estate, located 30km from Silchar town and spread over 560 hectares, annually produces 14 lakh kg of tea. It was established in 1860. Besides permanent workers, retired tea workers and villagers also live in the garden.

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