Assam again: Labourers try to burn tea factory

Furious after a manager assaulted a guard, labourers at a tea garden in Assam's Nagaon district Monday gheraoed the estate management and attempted to burn the tea factory, but were thwarted by the police.

Amsoi tea estate assistant manager Pankajesh Garaip had allegedly beaten up Durgeswar Tanti at his bungalow Sunday night, sources in the police said. He has been taken into custody.

The incident comes a week after some disgruntled labourers hacked to death a tea estate owner in Tinsukia district, Mridul Bhattacharyya, and burnt his wife and their bungalow on December 26.

In the past, quite a few tea planters have been killed by their workers in Assam. Some years ago, Rupak Gogoi was burnt by the labourers at his tea garden in Golaghat.

The tea industry has blamed "outside influences" euphemism for labour unions and political parties attempting to establish base among tea workers for such attacks. The situation often gets aggravated, industry insiders claimed, at the time of payment of puja bonus.

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