Tinsukia tea estate MD burnt to death by workers for salary

Guwahati, Dec. 26 -- Angered because their salaries had not been paid and other basic facilities before Christmas not given, tea-garden workers on Wednesday allegedly burnt to death the managing director (MD) of the Tulapathar tea estate in Tinsukia district, 600 km east of Guwahati.

Two charred bodies including supposedly that of MD Mridul Kumar Bhattacharya were recovered from a house that was gutted. Its occupants were Bhattacharya and his wife.

The mob set ablaze the official quarters of the garden's manager also.

They also set fire to a gypsy and an Ambassador, which belonged to the management.

"The bodies have not been identified. Both the managing director and the garden manager's quarters were torched by a violent mob comprising labourers. Two more persons residing in the quarters are missing after the incident. The situation in the area is tense. Security forces have already been rushed to the tea garden", said SS Meenakshi Sundaram, deputy commissioner of Tinsukia district.

Sundaram said for the past two months, differences had surfaced between the tea garden management and labourers on salaries not being paid. On Wednesday, the garden authorities served quit notice to 10 workers.

In the first week of December, an FIR had been lodged against three labourers.

"Their arrest on a court warrant angered the workers more," Sundaram added.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.