Tea estate destroyed, workers shaken

RAIGANJ, 9 OCT: Alleged criminals raided the Bhadrakali Tea Estate in Islampur police station, North Dinajpur district and wreaked havoc over a large area of the plantation uprooting tea bushes and damaging other property of the estate Thursday night.

They threatened the workers’ union leaders active in the plantation with dire consequence as well over telephone. The incident has left the plantation management a shaken lot. The uncertainty in the plantation has turned the workers’ future tentative.

According to the plantation management, the raiders destroyed tea bushes standing on 15-acre land and also damaged several trees that are crucial in plantations.
The plantation authority has registered a police complaint but the police are yet to take action against the raiders.

The plantation manager Mr Santanu Bose said: “Property worth around Rs 8 lakh was destroyed and the workers’ leaders threatened. The police are yet to act against the raiders. We are suffering from insecurity and cannot take the risk of going for replantation.”

A local Intuc leader Mr Mohan Das said that the raiders had threatened him over telephone as he had stood by the plantation authority after the destruction. “I have registered a complaint at the Ramganj police outpost but the police are yet to arrest the criminals.” The incident has caused panic locally and the workers are unsure of their future.

The SDPO Islampur Mr David Lepcha claimed that the police have started an inquiry into the incident.

“We expect to arrest the criminals soon,” he said.