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ULFA extends support to Assam tea growers agitation

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By- Correspondent | Date- October 19, 2011

The day after small tea growers of Assam protested across the state against deep fall of tea leaves prices, the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) has come down very heavily on the issue.

In a press release sent to the media by the publicity head of the hardliner faction of ULFA Arunodoy Dohotiya, the outfit has appealed that the small tea growers of the state be paid the right price and value for their leaves. The small tea growers of the state were also appealed to carry out strong protest and agitation programmes against the injustice done against the tea growers of the state, if the issue is not resolved soon with adequate pricing model put in place.

The ULFA accused Assam chief minister to have compromised with larger tea establishments and capitalists due to which as high as 15 lakhs people directly or indirectly associated with the industry were paying the price. According to the outfit the reason the small tea growers were not able to earn not even 20% above their investment and hard labour is the monopoly of the large capitalistic tea establishments.

The ULFA also warned that if the conspiracy to destroy the small scale tea industries of Assam continues, they would resort to stiff action against the large tea establishments.

Mentionable that a day earlier, the small tea growers of Assam had taken to protest across the state against the continuous decrease price of tea leaves. Claiming that they were being deprived of the prescribed price rate offered to major tea growers in the state, the small tea growers also strew over ten lakh kg leaves plucked on the national highway across several parts of the state, blocking the road for several hours.

On the other hand, chief Minister of Tarun Gogoi had recently commented on the issue that he had “asked the Tea Board to effectively put in place its price control mechanism”.

At present, green tea leaves are being sold at Rs 8 per kg and have gone down to Rs 4 kg in some areas. The rates were as good and high as Rs 25 a kg in June-July this year.

It is also being reported that to protect the interest of tea-growers, the Assam government is considering fixing a minimum price of green leaf tea at Rs 15 a kg.

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