India tea workers burn boss to death


Workers pluck tea leaves at the Dagapur Tea Estate on the outskirts of Siliguri on June 11, 2012.



An Indian tea plantation owner and his wife were burned alive after their bungalow was set on fire by up to 1000 workers following a labor dispute.

The angry workers surrounded the home at Kunapathar in Assam state late on Wednesday, following a two-week dispute with management, reported BBC News. Police said the attack happened after management asked some of the tea plantation workers to leave their accommodation.

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The group was dominated by women and children, and later told police their employer deserved to die while daring officers to arrest them, according to The Telegraph. The mob remained volatile on Thursday night, with police saying their first priority was to reestablish order around Tulapathar Tea Estate.

The charred bodies of tea planation owner Mridul Kumar Bhattacharyya and his wife, Rita, were recovered from the burned remains of their bungalow in Tinsukhia district Wednesday afternoon, reported the Associated Press. Police are investigating, but no arrests have been made.

According to The Telegraph, workers outside the home openly told police and journalists they killed their boss and his wife because they had suffered cruelty and abuse at their hands.

"We all came and attacked the bungalow and set it on fire. They deserved to be killed as the planter has exploited us for a long time and tortured us for petty things," a tea estate female worker said on News Live local TV channel.