TT, Siliguri, March 30: Stakeholders of tea industry today expressed concern over the alleged casual attitude of the INTTUC leaders of the Darjeeling district towards the assault and confinement of the management staff of Tirrihannah estate on Tuesday.
Ramesh Biswakarma, a local leader of the INTTUC-backed Darjeeling Zilla Tea Employees and Workers' Union, along with other labourers, had allegedly confined and assaulted the managerial staff on Tuesday.
The attack took place after Biswakarma had been dismissed by the management.
Representatives of tea planters' fraternity said INTTUC leaders had failed to realise that it was because of Biswakarma that the Tirrihannah garden had closed twice in the past four months.
"It is surprising that the INTTUC leaders are supporting Biswakarma, instead of taking stern steps against him," a source in the garden said today.
Since yesterday, the INTTUC leaders, including Arup Ratan Ghosh, the Darjeeling district INTTUC president, have been training guns at the management, claiming that it was not Biswakarma but some miscreants who had attacked the garden staff.
Gautam Ghosh, the secretary of the Citu-backed Darjeeling Zilla Chia Kaman Mazdoor Union, said: "The INTTUC's claim does not stand as there are several workers in the garden who can vouch that Biswakarma had attacked the managerial staff. We condemn the manner in which the INTTUC leaders are backing him."
Arup Ghosh today reiterated that Biswakarma was not involved in the attack.
He, along with some workers of the garden, met the joint labour commissioner in Siliguri and requested him to fix a meeting to expedite the reopening of the estate.
"It is interesting to see that on one hand, an INTTUC leader assaults and intimidates managerial staff and on the other hand, another leader of the same union accuses the management and approaches the labour department for reopening the garden," an Intuc leader said.
Sources in the labour department said a meeting on Tirrihannah would be held in the joint labour commissioner's office on Tuesday.