Dharna by Cachar Paper Mill Workers in Front of MP's Residence, "Come in the evening, we'll talk with the Government" says MP Rajdeep Roy
On February 2, the paper mill workers and their families staged a dharna in front of MLA Dilip Kumar Paul’s residence. On getting assurance from CM Sarbananda Sonowal through MLA Dilip Paul, the paper mill workers withdrew their protest that day. But since then, nothing has been done to fulfil the demands made by them from the government. The paper mill workers decided to dharna in front of the residence of every people’s representative from Barak Valley before the upcoming assembly election. Accordingly, they staged a dharna in front of Silchar MP Rajdeep Roy’s residence at Radhamadhab Road at 9 am on Saturday. Water and food were sent to the protesters, but they did not accept them. After protesting there for about 3 hours, MP Rajdeep Roy finally came out of his house. He told the paper mill workers to come to his house at 7.30 pm. Before that, he would talk to both the state and the central leadership, then he would sit next to the workers and discuss what could be done with the paper mill recovery plan. On receiving the assurance, the protesting paper mill employees suspended their dharna for now and went back their ways.
The Joint Action Committee of Reorganized Unions (JACRU) of Cachar and Nagaon Paper Mills, HPC Paper Mills Revival Action Committee and family members of the paper mill workers have been carrying out various events to recover the paper mills and demand clearance of pending wages of its employees. So far 81 paper mill workers have died since the two paper mills were shut down. Mourning processions have been brought out to pay respect to those departed souls. Sitting in front of the MP’s house on Saturday morning, they reiterated, “At least pay our pending wages, this is not the way to live a miserable life. If the government decides not to obey us, then better shoot and kill us.”
MP Rajdeep Roy came out of the house at around noon and sat next to the paper mill workers. “It’s not just your problem, I think it’s my problem too” he said. “Our government wants to explore all kinds of possibilities for the purpose of recovering the two paper mills. I myself have talked to various ministers in the past, but in the end, the talk couldn’t progress much further. All of you kindly come to my residence this evening at 7:30 pm, we will sit together and discuss in detail then. Find out how to recover the paper mills. I needed the entire day as I will discuss with the representatives of the Central and State Governments during this gap, I will inform them before meeting with you people. I believe the goal will be achieved if everyone works together.”