Maoist footfall in tea industry
SILIGURI, Oct. 11: The Maoists, who thus far had kept the tea industry off limits, has allegedly turned the heat on the industry.
For the first time, the management of a tea estate in Jalpaiguri district has received a letter allegedly signed by a CPI-M (Maoist) area commander instructing him to, “leave the job,” or face, “the death sentence.”
The recipient of the letter Mr Premchand Jain, manager of Tasati Tea Estate situated under the Falakata police station has informed the Jalpaiguri SP about the development. “We are aware of the letter and are probing into the matter,” the Jalpaiguri SP, Mr Tripurari, admitted today.
According to Mr Jain, he received the letter on 18 September. “The letter has reference to an incident of workers’ unrest in the plantation that occurred in the month of May. One staff member was dismissed following that incident and the case is pending at the labour department,” Mr Jain, said.
“The letter apparently signed by a CPI-M (Maoist) area commander has directed me to leave the job or prepare for the death blow,” the manager added.
According to him a copy of the letter was also sent to his Kolkata office.
Security has been arranged for Mr Jain during the night hours but the Indian Tea Planters’ Association, of which Tasati is a member, wants enhanced security for him.
“The manager remains exposed to assault during the day hours, which needs to be taken care of,” the ITPA principal adviser Mr NK Basu wrote to the Jalpaiguri SP yesterday.