The proscribed Ulfa (Independent) on Thursday served a notice to a leading tea company demanding immediate relocation of all its administrative offices to Assam and recruitment of indigenous people of the state, failing which it will be “prevented from doing business in Assam”.
The outift gave the notice to Amalgamated Plantations Private Limited through an emailed statement sent to PTI and other media houses.
The notice, signed by Ulfa (I) publicity department member self-styled “Capt.” Rumel Asom, said: “The United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent) has taken note of ... management of the tea estates in Assam under your ownership. We appreciate that you are in the business of making profit and to that end you must devise your corporate planning. However, you have heavy responsibilities to the land and her people .....”
“... You have your head office outside Assam where no indigenous personnel from Assam is in employment. The liaison office is also not in Assam.”
The outfit further said that “we are aware you are recruiting your workers from outside Assam” instead of employing local youth and warned that this was “contrary to the spirit of ‘Win, Win’ relationship” between corporates and the state.
It went on to warn that company officials will not be allowed to travel in Assam, and APPL may face “ruin” by ”forcing closure of tea gardens”, if their demands were not met.
Amalgamated Plantations Private Ltd (APPL) was carved out of the erstwhile Tata Tea Ltd (now Tata Global Beverages Ltd) 10 years ago to run tea estates in Bengal and Assam. The APPL head office is in Calcutta and its corporate office is in Guwahati.
APPL managing director Vikram Singh Gulia could not be reached for his comments.
According to the company website, it is the second largest tea producer in the country with multiple stakeholders, including TGBL, Tata Investment Corporation Ltd, International Finance Corporation, partner investors, employees and estate workers.