From A Correspondent
Agartala, Jan 20 : Nearly a thousand workers turned jobless following closer of the Halflong Cherra Tea Estate under Dharmagar sub-division in North Tripura district.
The mager and other magerial staff left the garden on Sunday morning after putting a notice in the main gate declaring that the garden will remain closed until further notice.
The workers who came to report for their duty turned agitated after seeing the notice and demonstrated in front of the gate. They alleged that the closer was totally illegal as no prior notice was served. On Wednesday a delegation of the workers met the sub-divisiol officer Pradip Acharjee and demanded his immediate intervention. The representatives of the workers said the SDO assured of looking into the matter. It is learnt that some disturbance was going on in the garden for last few months since some new magerial staff joined. ‘Two of them were misbehaving with the workers,’ alleged one worker to the reporters.
The situation turned worst on Saturday when the garden mager was holding a meeting with the worker representatives. Some pelted a stone from outside that hit the assistant mager Saroj Rao who sustained minor injuries. Immediately the mager stopped the meeting and said he will discuss the matter later on. But on the next morning he along with other magerial staff left the garden. It is learnt that before leaving for Silchar in Assam they verbally informed the local police station about the closer. Despite repeated attempt the mager could not be contacted either by workers or the administration.
Halflong Chhera is one of the most renowned tea gardens in Tripura but reportedly was incurring loss for some time. As a result payment of wages also becomes irregular causing anger among the workers. The closer has caused panic in the area as the workers fear that starvation may start if the garden not reopens immediately.