HAILAKANDI, April 29 - The HPC Paper Mills Revival Action Committee has reacted strongly over the untimely death of an employee of Cachar Paper Mill, located at Panchgram of Hailakandi district on Sunday and the suicide of another employee of Nagaon Paper Mill on Monday. With the death of two employees of the mills, the death toll has gone upto 55 in the Cachar Paper Mill and Nagaon Paper Mill of Jagiroad in Morigaon district together after the suspension of production of mills on October 20, 2015. The employees and workers are not getting their salaries since the last 28 months.
It can be mentioned here that a permanent mill employee Partha Deb was suffering from hypertension, liver disease and other critical ailments from the last few months and �could not go for better treatment due to financial crisis as mill workers are not getting their salaries�, alleged the committee. On Monday, an official of Nagaon Paper Mill, Biswajit Mazumdar committed suicide. The chief convener of the committee, Manabendra Chakraborty, in a message on social media quoting the suicide of his colleague said, �dance on dead bodies continues under leadership of Modi ji�.�
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the revival of the mills if it comes to power in the State in 2016 but they were not revived and capitalising on this, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi announced that the mills will be revived within six months if his party comes to power. The revival of the two defunct paper mills of State is a big issue in the Lok Sabha election in south Assam�s Barak Valley. Cachar Paper Mill falls under Karimganj SC constituency while Nagaon Paper Mill falls under Nagaon constituency. Both the constituencies went to poll in the second phase on April 18.
The employees and workers of the mills and their family members boycotted the last panchayat election in Panchgram area of Hailakandi district in protest against the non-payment of salaries. In this year�s Lok Sabha poll, they protested the rallies of BJP including Prime Minister Modi�s meeting in Barak valley for not keeping their assurances to revive the mills.
Due to the closure of the mills, at least 2 lakh people have been affected directly and indirectly, said one of the conveners of HPC Paper Mills revival action committee, Aziziur Rahman Mazumdar. After the suspension of production of both the prospective mills, artificial crisis of paper was created in the domestic market, the price of paper is now monopolistically being controlled by the private parties who increased the price abnormally more than two times and the country is being compelled to import paper from China, Korea and Bangladesh to meet the domestic requirements, Mazumdar alleged. He informed that due to the closure of Cachar Paper Mill, raw materials like lime, bamboo and coal worth more than Rs 100 crore is getting damaged in the premises.
He alleged that due to the non-payment of salaries, the employees and workers are passing the days half-starved. They are unable to pay the tuition fees of children, premiums of insurance policies and also can�t go for treatment, he alleged.