Tea workers` bandh affects life in North Bengal

Major shops, business establishments, markets, educational institutions and banks to be remain closed in view of bandh.

Siliguri: Normal life was on Friday affected in some districts of North Bengal in the wake of a bandh called by Tea Workers unions, officials said. The bandh, however got a mixed impact on tea gardens of North Bengal that it affected normal life in Siliguri, Jalpaiguri and a part of Coochbehar districts, officials added.

A unions of 32 Tea workers led by the Coordination Committee of Plantation Workers comprising different trade unions including CITU, INTUC, AITUC and BJP supported by Defence Committee demanded immediate enhancement of wages of the tea workers by calling a dawn to dusk North Bengal bandh.

However, Progressive Tea Workers Union (PTWU) opposed the bandh. PTWU dominated gardens in Dooars that normally functioned in many gardens of Terai like, Dagapur, Gulma went on as usual.

Despite launching a movement to increase the wages PTWU opposed the bandh as Coordination Committee and Defence Committee allegedly started playing politics with garden workers and are responsible for the present inhuman condition, PTWU leader Tez Kumar Toppo said.

In Siliguri town, major shops, business establishments, markets, educational institutions and banks will remain closed and private vehicles would be off the roads. CPI (M) leaders
and supporters of CITU made it to roads in support of the bandh.

Siliguri Additional Superintendent of Police, A P Javalgi said 35 persons, including some CPI (M) leaders have been arrested from different picketing points for trying to implement the bandh forcefully.

State`s former Urban Development Minister, Asok Bhattacharya with some of his associates staged a sit-in demonstration demanding unconditional release of the ones arrested today.

D P Singh, Superintendent of Police, Darjeeling said till 11.30 hours no untoward incident occurred and sufficient police arrangement has been made in order to maintain peace and law and order.


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