The members of Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS) staged human chain protests at Khanikar and Barbaruah in Dibrugarh district on Tuesday, demanding for the fulfilment of their various demands.

The human chain at Khanikar on the NH-52(B) was almost 1.5-km long while the one at Barbaruah on the NH-37 was 1-km long.

The chains were joined by a large number of people from the community including women and students.

The programme lasted for two hours from 3 pm to 5 pm.

ACMS general secretary Rupesh Gowala said that human chains were formed in several parts of the state from Sadiya to Dhubri on the national and state highways under 22 sub-branches of the ACMS.

“All 22 ACMS sub-branches namely Doomooma, Margherita, Panitola, Tingrai, Naharkatia, Dibrugarh, Moran, Sonari, Nazira, Jorhat, Titabar, Golaghat, Bokakhat, Nagaon, Biswanath, Helem, Tezpur, Lakhimpur, Borosola, Mangaldoi, Kamrup and Goalpara joined the human chain,” he said.

“The programme was staged by adhering to Covid protocols to highlight the failure of the state government in fulfilling the long-pending demands of the tea community of the state,” he added.

“We have an 11-point demand which we want to be addressed by the government,” Gowala further said.

Among the demands of the ACMS are conferring of Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to tea tribes of Assam, hike in daily wage hike of tea garden workers to Rs 351 and formation of a separate autonomous council for the state’s Adivasi people.

“The Centre is yet to fulfil its commitment of conferring ST status to the tea tribe Adivasi community. We want a minimum wage of Rs 351 for garden labourers,” Gowala said.

“Similarly, the state government has announced separate autonomous councils for Moran, Matak and Koch-Rajbongshi communities,” he added.

“We also want a separate autonomous council for the Tea Tribes,” Gowala said.

Avik Chakraborty

Avik Chakraborty is Northeast Now Correspondent in Dibrugarh. He can be reached at: babs8oct@gmail.com