Tea workers of Santi Tea Estate staged an indefinite protest in front of the Santi Tea Estate office on Monday against procuring 22 bighas of the tea estate by Oil India Limited for setting up of oil fields.
The tea workers of the Santi Tea Estate ceased their work for a day and participated in the protest to raise their voices against the land acquisition process by OIL.
Assam Tea Tribe Students’ Association (ATTSA) and Assam Chah Mazdoor Sangha (ACMS) among other tea bodies participated in the protest.
The workers holding postcards and banners participated in the protest against the Oil India Limited.
“Oil India will acquire 22 bighas of the Santi Tea Estate for setting up of oil fields. We are against the land acquisition process because our workers depended on the tea garden. We can’t see our tea bushes getting destroyed in front of our eyes,” said an ATTSA leader.
He said, “Assam’s economy has been largely dependent on the tea garden and the process of acquiring tea garden land for industrial purposes affects the economy. We have already seen how Doloo Tea estate tea bushes were destroyed for greenfield airport.”
A woman protester said, “The land acquisition process should be stopped immediately. Our livelihood has been largely dependent on the tea garden. Already, many bighas of tea garden land were acquired by Oil India for the setting up of oil fields. If our demand is not met within a stipulated time then we will intensify our movement.”
“Already there has been an agreement between the management of the tea garden and the OIL. Nobody takes the consent of the tea workers who are the backbone of the tea industry. We strongly oppose the move and demand to stop such land acquiring process,” an ACMS leader stated.