Monday, 30th October 2017

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Tea garden shut after attack on official

Estate’s assistant manager attacked with a sickle

By Vivek Chhetri in Darjeeling
  • Published 10.01.20, 3:13 AM
  • Updated 10.01.20, 3:13 AM
  • a min read
A tea garden in Darjeeling. (The Telegraph file picture)

Singla tea garden, situated about 15km from Darjeeling, declared suspension of work from Thursday after a labourer allegedly attacked the estate’s assistant manager with a sharp weapon.

The garden is owned by Jayshree Group of Companies.

Sources in the company said Om Prakash Chotiya, who is in his mid-40s, had been attacked with a sickle from behind when he was on his way to the garden factory around 7.20 am.

“The assistant manager suffered a fracture and cut on the head,” said another source in the industry.

Chotiya has been referred to a hospital in Siliguri for treatment.

“Following the incident, the management declared suspension of work with effect from today (Thursday),” said the industry source.

Police said worker Dipesh Limbu had arrived drunk. “The assistant manager said he would not be allowed to attend work in a drunken state. The worker then attacked the assistant manager,” a senior police officer said.

“Limbu has been arrested,” the officer added.

Source in the company, however, said they were not sure about the motive and did not rule out a larger conspiracy.

“The garden’s manager is out of station and the assistant manager had taken disciplinary action against a supervisor on Wednesday. We don’t know whether there is a larger conspiracy behind the incident,” said a company source.

The company official said Singla had been running at a loss for many years now. “Indiscipline on the part of the workforce is quite frequent and we don’t know whether someone instigated the worker,” said a company source.

The garden with 200 hectares of tea bushes has over 600 workers.