DIBRUGARH, June 24: Hundreds of plantation workers under the banner of Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS) on Friday staged protest at Nalani tea estate in upper Assam’s Tinsukia over Oil India Limited (OIL)’s acquisition of 35 bighas of garden land for setting up of an Oil Collecting Station (OCS).
The workers holding placards and banners raised slogans against the land acquisition by Oil India Limited.
The ACMS led by its central vice president and former Congress legislator from Chabua Raju Sahu also lended support to the protest.
Talking to media persons, Raju Sahu said, “Oil India Limited has acquired 35 bighas of land of Nalani tea estate owned by MK Jokai group for setting up an Oil Collecting Station (OCS). Thousands of tea bushes were uprooted for setting up the unit. We won’t have any objection if they had acquired barren tea garden land for setting up the same. Since the livelihood of hundreds of tea workers are at stake we are strongly opposing it.”
He further said, “The tea industry is being systematically destroyed by such senseless acts by the tea garden management. We have seen that tea garden land of tea estates like Dhelakhat, Limbuguri, Khamti Gowali, Hatiali, Ahmedi, Sealkotee, Hukanpukhuri, Dinjan, Balijan North, Naduwa, Khaojan, Dikom have been sold for industrial and commercial purposes. The land acquisition process should be stopped immediately. We can’t allow them to destroy the tea bushes in front of our eyes as thousands of workers are dependent on the tea garden for their livelihood.”