Assam: Tension Builds at Doloo, Leaders Called in For Questioning
After two unwarranted detentions, Assam’s Silchar police on June 1, 2022 called Assam Mojuri Shramik Union (AMSU) General Secretary Mrinal Kanti Shome for questioning. While the AMSU accuses the police of influencing the protest, the police authorities have refused to comment on the issue.
Shome said that he was interrogated for a long time by the police until Wednesday evening. On meeting local reporters, he said the police asked various questions about Doloo tea estate. A source also told SabrangIndia that the police asked Shome not to protest. Otherwise, Shome would have to take responsibility.
While the leader himself refused to comment on the same, social activist Arup Baiswa accused the officers of using terms like “over-activism”.
“Is it the responsibility of the police to advise the stopping of a peaceful democratic movement? Then what is the responsibility of political and civil administration? It is natural that a registered labour union should conduct a movement within the scope of the country's customary law. Police did not have any complaint in that regard, police did not even raise that complaint,” said Shome.
To confirm the claims, SabrangIndia approached Superintendent of Police Ramandeep Kaur. However, the officer refused to comment on the allegations.
“I have nothing to say about this,” she said.
The AMSU has been at the forefront of the Doloo Tea Estate workers’ protest against the Greenfield Airport project. The development plan is to be set up on a part of the estate that could affect workers' livelihood.
According to Baiswa, the union raised a legitimate and simple demand to propose and execute a public hearing before taking action on the plan. Leaders like Shome or member Dharitri Sarma stood by workers in this demand. Both leaders faced day-long detainments without reason or warrant for more than 24 hours between May 22 and May 24.
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