Bentick Dungdong (65), who was a resident of Birpara area in Jalpaiguri, died after suffering from prolonged illness due to fasting. Victim’s family members claimed that they did not have a single penny to get Dungdong treated. He was forced to die without any medication, alleged his family members.
Bentick used to work at a tea garden owned by the Duncans group which was closed since a long time. Bentick’s condition deteriorated from Saturday when he complained of serious ailments. The district administrative officials, however, denied that Bentick died due to hunger.
It may be mentioned that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had already asked Duncans group chairman GP Goenka to find out some solution in this regard.
However, the authorities of the tea gardens are yet to take any action to improve the situation. The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) had started a case against Duncans group as they found the authorities had some responsibilities behind such a situation. They were also investigating into the whole issue including the non-payment of wages.
According to reports, around 70 people who were attached to these closed tea gardens died of hunger and malnutrition. In last few months around 10 people had suffered the same fate.
The most affected areas where many people have died so far are Bagrakote, Nageswari and Birpara where tea gardens remained closed since many days.
Few days ago, state Food Minister Jyotipriya Mullick and Labour Minister Malay Ghatak held a meeting at Uttarkanya in Siliguri taking a stock of the crisis faced by the tea gardens in North Bengal.
Chief Justice of Calcutta HC Manjula Chellur while attending a programme at a law college in Siliguri on Sunday said that the problem relating to the tea garden workers could be solved through discussion.