Assam Cong MLA slits palm to oppose paper mills’ privatisation

Guwahati, Dec 3 (IANS) A Congress leader in Assam on Tuesday slit his palm inside the Legislative Assembly to protest against the government move to privatise two paper mills at Cachar and Jagiroad.

Both the paper mills which were making profits in the past have been lying closed for several years due to financial mismanagement, forcing some of its employees to commit suicide due to economic crisis and joblessness.

The Congress legislator from Mariani constituency Rupjyoti Kurmi slit the palm of his left hand and wrote slogans on a white paper to protest against the state government’s move to privatise the paper mills.

The two mills, Cachar Paper Mill at Panchgram in Barak Valley and Nagaon Paper Mill at Jagiroad, have been non-functional since October 2015 and March 2017 respectively.

The workers of the paper mills have not received salaries for more than two-and-a-half-years. The National Company Law Tribunal(NCLT) had ordered their liquidation on May 2 this year.

Production in the Nagaon mill stopped in 2015-16 and it was closed down in March 2017 due to heavy losses and lack of working capital. Operations in the Cachar Paper Mill were also stopped in 2015.

“There have been silent peaceful protests against the privatisation but the government has not paid heed to the protests. The government’s attitude forced me to take this step. This is a message to the government that in the days to come the protest over the paper mills will turn bloody,” the Congress MLA said while talking to the media here on Tuesday.



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