Ramjhora Tea Estate workers protest

Alipurduar: Workers of the Ramjhora tea estate today blocked the state highway between Birpara and Pagli Bhutan for seven hours, demanding compensation for the havoc wreaked by a wild elephant.

The blockade was set up on Lankapara Road after an elephant from the Lankapara forest strayed into the Jogi line of the closed estate on Sunday night, fatally injuring Bandhan Gosai (61) and ransacking the huts. Gosai died last night while being taken to hospital.

The garden workers also gheraoed forest officials, including the range officer of Madarihat. After a six-hour discussion, the range officer paid Rs 25,000 on spot (half the compensation meant for Gosai’s family) and asked the workers to prepare a list of those whose huts have been damaged. “We have already paid half the money to Gosai’s family and will also repair the damaged huts,” said Manindra Biswas, the divisional forest officer of Cooch Behar.

Around 110 km from here, a herd of 35 elephants from the Diana forest entered Kalikhola village in the Nagracata police station area yesterday and uprooted 200 betel nut trees and damaged a field of paddy, reports our correspondent from Jaigaon.

Source: The Telegraph