Tension prevails in Bogidhola tea estate in Golaghat district of Assam, where tea workers called a bandh against firing incident and management declared indefinite lockout of tea estate.
The All Assam Tea Tribes Students’ Association (AATTSA) called had a 12-hour district Golaghat district bandh from 5 am on Thursday in protest against the firing on unarmed tea workers by Sudhir Ray and Samir Ray , the owners of Bogidhola Tea Estate, 8 injured.
On Wednesday, the workers had gone to the bungalow of Sudhir Ray and Samir Ray, to seek pending wages and launched a protest. This enraged the duo who opened fire on them. Police immediately swung into action and arrested both of them. The duo was produced in court on Thursday which sent them to 14-day judicial custody.
Meanwhile, Hundreds of tea garden workers on Thursday took to the streets in upper Assam’s Golaghat and Jorhat districts in protest against the firing incident. Communication with upper Assam districts through NH37 and Nagaland via NH39 was disrupted due to the protest.
The protesters blocked national highways at Golaghat, Furkating, Numaligarh, Badulipar, Dergaon, Purabangla, Salimora, Morongi, Bokakhat, Negheriting, Borjan, Sokiting, Dakhin Hengera, Mariani and Mohima areas since morning, paralysing traffic movement. Educational institutions, business establishments and offices were closed in Golaghat.
AATTSA said the Rays opened fire on garden workers in the presence of police. It also demanded a judicial inquiry into the incident and compensation for the victims. Condemning the incident, AllAssam Student’s Union has also demanded punishment for the guilty.
On the other hand, the management of Bogidhala Tea Estate declared an indefinite lockout on Thursday, rendering about 500 permanent and causal workers jobless.