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Assam: Defunct papermill employee dead, toll rises to 93


Guwahati, Aug 30: An employee of the defunct Nagaon Paper Mill of Hindustan Paper Corp died in Assam's Morigaon district, taking the total deaths since the closure of the PSU's two units to 93, a union leader said on Monday.

Akshay Kumar Mazumder, 62, suffered from hypertension and cardiac ailments. He died on Sunday without getting proper medical treatment, president of Joint Action Committee of Recognised Unions (JACRU) of Nagaon and Cachar mills Manabendra Chakraborty said. Mazumder is survived by his wife and a daughter. This is the eighth death after the Himanta Biswa Sarma government assumed office, while during the tenure of former chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, 85 people had died either due to starvation or lack of medical treatment, Chakraborty said.

"Most of our employees have died due to lack of proper treatment as they did not receive salaries or dues for the last 55 months. This is not any normal death but our people are dying due to the apathy of the authorities," he said.

Chakraborty appealed to the state government and the Centre to fulfil their commitments and release all legal dues to save the lives of the remaining employees.

He also appealed to all citizens to "kindly raise their voice against the injustice faced by the employees of both the mills".

The Cachar Paper Mill at Panchgram in Hailakandi district and Nagaon Paper Mill at Jagiroad in Morigaon district are non-functional since October 2015 and March 2017, respectively. The BJP government had promised to revive the paper mills after Sonowal assumed power in 2016. Even during the campaigning for this year's assembly polls, the BJP had said that steps would be taken to revive the mills.

The National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), after several rounds of meetings between all stakeholders and a number of hearings, had ordered the liquidator on April 26 to sell Hindustan Paper Corp as per the decision of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT).

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