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ACMS suspects third party hand

By AJIT PATOWARY
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GUWAHATI, Dec 29 � The Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS) suspects involvement of a third party in the December 26 Kunapathar TE violence, in which its proprietor Mridul Bhattacharyya and his wife Rita Bhattacharyya were brutally killed by a mob of tea garden workers.

�We suspects incitement from some forces, which had taken advantage of the resentment of some workers against Mridul Kumar Bhattacharyya�s angry nature,� said Harinanda Garh secretary of the Margherita branch of the ACMS while talking to this correspondent.

Garh said that though Bhattacharyya used to suffer from fits of rage earlier, he was a changed man now. He himself had admitted before Garh that he had realised that his fits of anger was in fact harming him.

Bhattacharyya was refusing to recognise the labour union affiliated to the ACMS in his garden since its inception in 1994. But in 2009, he recognised the union and started talking to the union leaders, including Garh, in a cordial manner. He even used to visit the Margherita branch office of the ACMS. He also started taking welfare measures for the benefit of the workers. He had an appointment with Garh on December 27 on issues concerning the welfare of the labours of his garden.

On December 26 he visited the proposed site of the community centre with the president of the factory unit of the labour union and the secretary of its garden unit. There Bhattacharyya said that he would extend all possible help to construct the centre, which has been proposed to be built with the fund of Rs 3 lakh being provided by DoNER Minister Pawan Singh Ghatowar from his MPLAD fund in the MKB TE.

Bhattacharyya also told the president of the factory unit and the secretary of the garden unit, who are respectively the president and secretary of the construction committee formed for the centre, that he would go for a modern hospital in the garden and assured steps to construct standard quarters for the workers of the garden.

But about 2-30 pm, after about one hour of that visit, a mob from the Garaline was advancing to Bhattacharyya�s bungalow following arrest of two brothers Surajit Mura and Ajit Mura by police. Garh then talked to the father of Surajit and Ajit. The father said that Bhattacharyya might have got his sons arrested.

Garh then asked the labour union president and secretary to pacify the mob saying that the arrested men could be released on bail. He himself informed the police of the development and started for the MKB TE. But as soon as he reached Kathalguri, about four kilometers away from Kunapathar where the MKB TE is located, the report came that one of the bungalows was burnt down and the other bungalow was almost burnt down.

Some of the members of the mob also assaulted the president and secretary of the labour union while they were trying to pacify them, Garh said.

He informed that the two brothers were arrested by the police following a court order. The two brothers did not appear in the court in a case filed by Bhattacharyya for their refusal to vacate the quarters following their ceasing to work with his garden. Bhattacharyya was ready to arrive at a compromise in this connection. But the failure of the two brothers to appear in the court stood on the way for such a compromise, Garh said.

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ACMS suspects third party hand

GUWAHATI, Dec 29 � The Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS) suspects involvement of a third party in the December 26 Kunapathar TE violence, in which its proprietor Mridul Bhattacharyya and his wife Rita Bhattacharyya were brutally killed by a mob of tea garden workers.

�We suspects incitement from some forces, which had taken advantage of the resentment of some workers against Mridul Kumar Bhattacharyya�s angry nature,� said Harinanda Garh secretary of the Margherita branch of the ACMS while talking to this correspondent.

Garh said that though Bhattacharyya used to suffer from fits of rage earlier, he was a changed man now. He himself had admitted before Garh that he had realised that his fits of anger was in fact harming him.

Bhattacharyya was refusing to recognise the labour union affiliated to the ACMS in his garden since its inception in 1994. But in 2009, he recognised the union and started talking to the union leaders, including Garh, in a cordial manner. He even used to visit the Margherita branch office of the ACMS. He also started taking welfare measures for the benefit of the workers. He had an appointment with Garh on December 27 on issues concerning the welfare of the labours of his garden.

On December 26 he visited the proposed site of the community centre with the president of the factory unit of the labour union and the secretary of its garden unit. There Bhattacharyya said that he would extend all possible help to construct the centre, which has been proposed to be built with the fund of Rs 3 lakh being provided by DoNER Minister Pawan Singh Ghatowar from his MPLAD fund in the MKB TE.

Bhattacharyya also told the president of the factory unit and the secretary of the garden unit, who are respectively the president and secretary of the construction committee formed for the centre, that he would go for a modern hospital in the garden and assured steps to construct standard quarters for the workers of the garden.

But about 2-30 pm, after about one hour of that visit, a mob from the Garaline was advancing to Bhattacharyya�s bungalow following arrest of two brothers Surajit Mura and Ajit Mura by police. Garh then talked to the father of Surajit and Ajit. The father said that Bhattacharyya might have got his sons arrested.

Garh then asked the labour union president and secretary to pacify the mob saying that the arrested men could be released on bail. He himself informed the police of the development and started for the MKB TE. But as soon as he reached Kathalguri, about four kilometers away from Kunapathar where the MKB TE is located, the report came that one of the bungalows was burnt down and the other bungalow was almost burnt down.

Some of the members of the mob also assaulted the president and secretary of the labour union while they were trying to pacify them, Garh said.

He informed that the two brothers were arrested by the police following a court order. The two brothers did not appear in the court in a case filed by Bhattacharyya for their refusal to vacate the quarters following their ceasing to work with his garden. Bhattacharyya was ready to arrive at a compromise in this connection. But the failure of the two brothers to appear in the court stood on the way for such a compromise, Garh said.

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