The Assam Tea Tribes Students’ Association (ATTSA) on Saturday staged a dharna in front of the deputy commissioner’s office in Golaghat district of eastern Assam protesting against the failure of the district administration and excise department in preventing the death of tea garden workers in the hooch tragedy.
“We had requested the district administration to initiate a judicial inquiry and to take appropriate actions when 25 of our people died last year by consuming spurious liquor in Doyang and Wokha tea estate of Golaghat district. But unfortunately they did not give any heed to our appeal and such a tragedy strikes again,” said Jagdish Boraik, president of ATTSA’s Golaghat district unit.
“The unabated and unregulated sell of illicit liquor expose the lack of seriousness of the excise department. Therefore this time we are giving an ultimatum of 48 hours to the government to take a concrete step regarding the whole incident and to ensure that such tragedy doesn’t happens again. Otherwise we will launch democratic protests across all the tea gardens of the state,” Boraik added.
All Adivasi Students’ Association of Assam (AASAA) and Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS), the largest trade union organizing labourers in tea gardens of the State also staged a dharna on the same issue.
On the other hand, the activists of Mod Mukta Asom Dabi Samiti (MMADS) also staged a sit-in demonstration demanding total ban on locally-made liquor and foreign alcohol.
A protest meeting was also organized by the district congress condemning the whole incident and criticized the government for its failure to put a check on the flourishing market of illicit liquor.