Plight of garden workers might create ground for Maoist activities'

GUWAHATI: Barely two days after the arrest of two suspected Maoists in Orissa, belonging to the tea tribe community of Assam, the state unit of BJP has raised concerns about the plight of tea garden labourers. It alleged that the government's neglect towards the tribe has led to the creation of a "fertile ground" for Maoist activities in the state.

According to the saffron party, the labourers remained one of the most deprived sections of society in the state, despite various development schemes initiated by the government. The party leaders observed that Maoist activity was on the rise in some of the tribal-dominated underdeveloped parts of Jharkand, Chattisgarh, West Bengal and Orissa. As tea garden labourers in Assam have ethnic connection with the tribes in Maoist-hit states, the saffron party warned that it was only a matter of time before red-terror' is unleashed in the region.

"The threat of Maoist influence on the tea garden workers is very much present in Assam. Prolonged deprivation along with ethnic connection with tribes in states like Jharkand, Chattisharh and Orissa have made the community to Maoist terror," BJP vice-president, Kamakhya Prasad Tasa, said.

The tea garden labourer community, collectively called Adivasi in the state, comprises tribes from central and eastern India states, who migrated to Assam during the British rule.

Although security forces have significantly been able to contain activities of various armed outfits floated by the tea garden labourer community in recent past, the arrest of two suspected Maoists from the community in Orissa, only brought to the fore the fact that Maoist activity might be on the rise in the region.Thingamajig Orang and Asik Sabar, who belonged to tea garden community in Dibrugarh were arrested along with Aditya Bora in Orissa on charges of links with Maoists.