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Agartala
Thursday, July 25, 2024

Midnight sabotage sparks protest among Kailashahar tea workers

Date:

BY TC News Desk

Agartala, 22nd June 2024:  In the quiet stillness of night, unrest broke out among tea plantation workers in Kailashahar as they took to blocking the Kailashahar-Kumarghat road in a dramatic protest. The Jagannathpur tea garden, typically a scene of orderly labor became a site of upheaval after mysterious and destructive actions were discovered.

On Saturday morning, garden workers were shocked to find that several tea plants had been uprooted and sections of the garden’s entrances had been dug up and transformed into drains by what appeared to be a JCB. This unprecedented act of vandalism led to immediate outrage among the workers, who began their blockade around eleven o’clock determined to bring attention to their plight.

“As dawn broke, we were met with a sight that no worker ever wants to see,” recounted one of the garden workers. “The tea plants we nurture with so much care were uprooted, and the paths we use every day were destroyed. It was an act of sheer brutality.”

Speaking to media persons here, the enraged workers said that the incident seemed premeditated, pointing out that the uprooting of tea plants and the excavation of entrance roads happened during the cover of night. Specific sections, notably numbers one, six, and thirteen bore the brunt of the damage. The workers speculated that these deliberate actions were intended to block vehicular access to the garden, hampering its operations.

A worker stated, “We don’t know who did this or why. But we won’t rest until those responsible are brought to justice. We are ready to continue this blockade if necessary.”

Authorities were quick to respond to the disruption. The Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Kailashahar promised a meeting involving the garden authorities and workers on the upcoming Monday to address the issue comprehensively. This assurance led to the blockade being lifted at around 4:30 pm, following intervention by the Officer-in-Charge of the Kailashahar police station.

Despite the temporary resolution, the incident has cast a long shadow over the garden’s future. “The damage done is immense,” said a garden official. “Our operations will face significant challenges in the coming days. It’s a heavy blow to everyone who works here.”

Further investigations hinted at deeper, more political motivations behind the vandalism. Sources indicated that an influential figure within the ruling party had requested a specific plot within the garden for an official ceremony. Dissatisfied with the allocated site, this person allegedly orchestrated the nocturnal sabotage after being denied their preferred location by the tea board chairman, who insisted on preserving the tea-growing areas.

“Fear prevents many from speaking out,” a worker confided. “But it’s known that someone high up in the political hierarchy is behind this. The question is, what will the authorities do about it?”

The community remains on edge, watching closely as the situation develops. The outcome of Monday’s meeting could set a precedent for how such conflicts are handled in the future, highlighting the ongoing tensions between local interests and broader political agendas in the region.

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