Yet another tea garden worker dies in Jalpaiguri

Yet another tea garden worker dies in Jalpaiguri
A 39-year-old labourer of Nageshwari tea garden died of illness in Mal area of Jalpaiguri district on Friday.

An ailing Minu Nayek was admitted to a hospital in Mal where he died today after his condition deteriorated.

Doctors said he died of heart failure. Nayek was a worker of Nageshwari tea garden belonging to the Duncan Group. His family members alleged that although the tea garden had officially not announced its closure, the labourers had not received their wages, provident fund, and ration for the last several months.

They claimed that Nayek was ailing for some time and acute financial stress led to his death.
Hospital facilities were no more provided to them by the tea garden management and Nayek's illness was not therefore treatable at home, the family alleged.

Secretary of Joint Forum of tea garden labourers Chitta Dey said that the state government was “indifferent” towards the plight of tea garden labourers.

Instead, they should take the initiative of reopening the closed tea gardens, he said.

Two tea garden labourers had died in Alipurduar and Jalpaiguri districts since Wednesday.

Their families had claimed they had succumbed due to starvation but the administration maintained the deaths were normal, caused by regular ailments.

Late last month two laboureres, both in their sixties, died at two closed north Bengal tea gardens but the administration said these were in no way starvation-related.

District officials said they were regularly supplying rice to the workers at Rs 2 per kg.


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