Assam: Angry Mob burns alive tea planter and his wife

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Guwahati, Dec 27: Violence re-visited Assam when a gang of angry workers burnt alive a tea planter and his wife at Tulapathar tea estate in Tinsukia district, 600 km east of Guwahati on Wednesday, Dec 26. Sources say the incident might have occurred as the workers were angry because their salaries and other basic facilities had not been paid before Christmas.

According to Tinsukia deputy commissioner SS Meenakshi Sundaram, the incident occurred around 4.30 pm when the mob, numbering about 700, surrounded Tulapathar tea estate owner Mridul Kumar Bhattacharyya's bungalow and set it on fire. The mob, mostly tea plantation workers, were reportedly armed with stones and bows and arrows.

"While four persons have been reported missing, two bodies burnt beyond recognition are suspected to be that of Bhattacharyya and his wife Rita. The manager of the tea garden and his wife were also in the bungalow when the mob set it on fire but their whereabouts is not known," said Sundaram.

The deputy commissioner said the tea estate was having labour problems for the past few weeks.

"The management had served notice to 10 workers two days ago and asked them to vacate their quarters. Following an FIR lodged by the management, the police had detained three workers this morning," said Sundaram.

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