DIBRUGARH, Sept 1 - Some 57 tea garden workers including women were arrested by Tingkhong police last night after they attacked their fellow workers with lethal weapons over the issue of ownership dispute of the plantation.
Three leaders of the attackers including Boldeb Teli, president of the Adivasi Chah Jonogusti Suraksha Sammittee were remanded to police custody while others were forwarded to the jail today.
The Shalmari tea estate had turned out to be a battle ground yesterday following the deadly clash between two factions of the workers, using lethal weapons like knives, axe, sticks and rods. Some 27 workers, including women were injured in the bloodshed.
The clash took place after one faction led by Boldeb Teli�s Adivasi Chah Jonogusti Suraksha Sammittee members launched an en masse attack on another faction of workers who were engaged in plucking leaves for their new employer Jainex Tea Company Limited. The faction loyal to Teli tried to obstruct plucking of leaves, claiming that Jainex Tea Company Limited had illegally taken over the garden.
Police, who were informed, acted swiftly and arrested some 57 persons including 30 women. Boldeb Teli, president, Adivasi Chah Jonogusti Suraksha Sammittee and the alleged mastermind behind the attack was also arrested from his home, hours after the bloodshed. Police said Boldeb Teli incited the workers against the other fellow workers.
Police administration deployed platoons of CRPF jawans in the area besides called in back-ups from Borbam, Rajgarh and Naharkatia police stations to handle the violence. Circle Officer Nandita Baruah, Additional Superintendent of Police Surajit Singh Panesar, Moran Circle Inspector Ranjit Kakoty and Tingkhong OC Biswajit Sharma were on the spot to ensure normalcy in the area. Superintendent of Police Gautam Bora also visited the area in the evening.
All the injured were rushed to the Naharani Community Health Centre. Five workers who sustained grievous injuries were referred to Assam Medical College and Hospital.
Police have registered case (131/17) at Tingkhong PS under sections 147/148/149/447/120 (B)/109/ 326/307/395/397/354 (A)/427 of the IPC against the attackers. All the 57 persons who were arrested were administered medical check-up today at Dibrugarh Sadar PS before producing them in the court today.