Workers at a tea plantation in eastern India killed the owner during negotiations over a pay dispute. The owner of the Sonali tea estate in West Bengal was dragged out of talks on Saturday, beaten up and stabbed by a crowd. The workers had reportedly not been paid for two or three months. Many workers in India's tea plantations are malnourished and poorly paid.
According to Raja Das, Secretary of Terai Indian Planters’ Association (TIPA) the tea estate had been plagued with a series of issues relating to non-payment of dues. “It had long history of defaulting in payment of statutory dues to workers. According to initial reports the garden did not implement the industry-wide wage settlement, and, denied supplying the promised rations. On top of all, it had failed to pay wages in time,”
Several incidents of attacks on tea executives by workers have been reported in recent years. In 2012 a tea plantation owner and his wife were burned to death in the neighbouring state of Assam.