Madarihat – The Jalpaiguri district administration has declared that R.K Jha, who had claimed to have taken over Mujnai Tea Estate, has failed to produce ownership documents and he will not be allowed to sell tealeaves from the garden.
The administration has also said the estate will be handed over to the actual owner on April 2 and till then, plucking will remain stopped.
Jha had entered the garden in Jalpaiguri district, 59km from Alipurduar, on March 15 and had claimed that he had taken over the estate in October last year. Jha also paid the workers their salaries for November on March 22.
However, he failed to produce any documents proving the ownership of the estate.
Last evening, two trucks carrying green leaves from the estate were seized by the police. The leaves had been sold to Beech Tea Estate in Hasimara. Later at night, 100-odd workers gheraoed the officer in charge of Madarihat police station Pankoj Thapa, demanding the release of the vehicles and the drivers.
Heerak Mandal, block development officer of Madarihat, said the district magistrate would talk to the new management tomorrow and the garden would be handed over to them on April 2. “As Jha has failed to produce the documents, plucking will be stopped from tomorrow. I have requested the workers to be patient for three days. During this period, Jha will not be allowed to sell tealeaves,” he said.
However, Mandal could not say who the new owner was.
CITU leader Shukha Oraon said Jha should be given the charge of the garden. “He has assured us that the factory will soon start functioning and he will pay the wages of one more month. From tomorrow, we will not pluck tealeaves . Let us see what happens on April 2,” said Oraon.
The management had abandoned the garden with 999 workers in December last year.Courtesy:TheTelegraph.