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Cachar mill contract workers get salary

Silchar: The management of Cachar Paper Mill kept its promise and paid the mill's contractual workers one month's salary on Tuesday.

Cachar Paper Mill, the only major industrial undertaking in south Assam's Barak Valley, is located at Panchgram, around 24km from here and around 291km from Guwahati.

Manabendra Chakraborty, president of the Cachar Paper Projects Workers' Union, confirmed that the workers received their payments on Tuesday evening. He, however, expressed his resentment over the sufferings of the workers, who have to protest for their own rights.

"It is a matter of shame that the workers have to stage protests for their rights (salaries). This clearly means the government/authorities are not taking the issue seriously," he said and also took a jibe at the Narendra Modi-led government for not fulfilling its promise of reviving the mill till date.

He said Modi, during his campaign trail during the 2014 elections, had said both the paper mills in the state would be revived if the BJP came to power, but nothing has happened so far, he rued.

He threatened to stage an agitation on a massive scale if the mill management authority fails to pay another month's salary within May 31.

Several contractual workers had sat on an indefinite hunger strike in front of the mill on May 8. The protest, which continued for around 36 hours, was withdrawn after the mill management, on May 9 evening, assured the workers about payments within this month.

Two workers, Shubhan Ali, 55, and Abdul Rahim Laskar, 45, were hospitalised the same day after their health deteriorated. Laskar was released from the hospital on May 10, while Ali was released on Monday, sources said.

A senior official of the Hindustan Paper Corporation told The Telegraph on Tuesday afternoon that the amount was deposited in the contractual workers' bank accounts in the morning.

Another month's salary will be paid within May 31, he said.

Supriyo Bhattacharjee, general secretary of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions, said the decision about their upcoming movement/protest in connection with the demand of the mill's revival has not been finalised yet.

A strike across the valley may be called in the near future, if needed, he said.

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