There are 25,000 workers employed in 14 tea gardens . Trade union leaders have alleged that the group has not paid workers wages on regular basis since April, thereby resulting in death of workers

Kolkata : Two representatives of Duncan Industries Limited, which owns 14 tea gardens in the Dooars and Darjeeling on Monday met the CID officials in connection with a cheating case against the group.

The chief minister Mamata Banerjee who was in North Bengal on Monday received allegation from the workers of a Darjeeling garden about non-payment of PF dues when she was touring the region. The chief minister expressed her concern when she came to know about the alleged starvation death of 14 tea workers of Bagrakote tea estate since last month. The garden is owned by the Duncan group. The CID also summoned the chairman of the group G P Goenka to come to Bhavani Bhavan, the CID headquarters for interrogation. But since he was reportedly out of station, two representatives of the group went to the CID office where the sleuths interrogated them for nearly four hours. The CID officials have asked them to submit some documents to them. The trade union leaders of the garden alleged that the group had not paid workers wages on regular basis since April and this was the reason for the deaths of the workers. There are 25,000 workers employed in the 14 tea gardens owned by the group.

But political experts said that as the chief minister was to address a rally in Coochbehar on Monday, the state administration has promptly taken the decision to hand over the cheating case to the CID. They said the district police could primarily probe into the allegation and hand over it to CID. It was learnt that a case was registered at Runglee Rungliot police station on October 17 against G P Goenka, his son and seven others by an official of P F office of Siliguri.

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