Rosekandy Tea Estate in Cachar district had a refreshing sight on Monday when about 300 garden labourers resumed work of plucking garden’s fresh leaves.
Rosekandy Tea Estate is one of the leading tea gardens of Barak valley in Assam.
A strike by the tea garden labourers of Rosekandy and its subsidiaries, Mechipur and Shahpur, on June 10 last was called off on June 30 evening.
The strike was withdrawn after hectic parleys by members of various tea garden labourers’ unions, MLAs of Lakhipur and Algapur, Rajdeep Goala and Nizam Uddin Choudhury, respectively, with the agitating labourers.
The uproar and unrest kept the whole state on tenterhooks which led to Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal to call upon the DIG Southern Range to look into the matter personally.
The district administration too, after several rounds of talks with the agitating labourers, could not break the ice, instead, it had to impose section 144 CrPC to keep the tense situation under control.
Though the strike has been called off partially by the agitating tea garden labourers, Babul Kumar, who is spearheading this agitation talking to Northeast Now, said, “We have agreed to reopen it as it is our garden and our bread & butter. But, on June 15 last at the Cachar deputy commissioner’s office, an inquiry team was constituted with 11 members.”
“For one month, the team will check the allegations levelled by us against our general manager, Ishwar Bhai Ubhedia, whose ouster is our primary demand,” said Kumar.
Babul Kumar added, “We demand that during this period of one month, Ishwar Bhai Ubhedia should not interfere in the task of the inquiry committee and he should stay away from this garden till the inquiry report is submitted. We have put in 63-point charter of demands and the ouster of I.B. Ubhedia is right on top of the list.”
Before winding up his conversation with this correspondent, Babul Kumar, stated categorically, “We shall wait and watch for one more month and if our demands are not met by that time then we shall resort to a protest so fierce that it is unheard of in Barak valley or any unrest in tea gardens of Assam.”
Meanwhile, the general manager of Rosekandy Tea Estate, Ishwar Bhai Ubhedia, in a WhatsApp message to this correspondent thanked Northeast Now for extending help and support in reopening of the garden.
His WhatsApp display picture (DP), however, is spreading a message thick and fast that might brew a fresh storm in the days to come.
It says in Hindi, milkar baithe thai majlis mai jugnu saare, aailan yeh tha ki suraj ko hataya jai.