In Assam Tea Gardens Hit By Tragedy, Free Liquor May Return Before Polls | Read

PUBLISHED ON: March 30, 2019 | Duration: 3 min, 21 sec

  
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Bablu Bhumiji, a 55-year-old labour sardar at the Halmira tea estate, is a worried man. As many as 47 of the 160 labourers killed in the February hooch tragedy used to work under him, and the upcoming elections looks set to bring truckloads of liquor to his doorstep again. "After the recent tragedy, nobody in this village wants to touch local liquor. They swear that they will not drink it even if they get it for free. But political parties are still likely to distribute the brew because it is the cheapest way to win tea garden votes," says Bablu Bhimiji. The labour sardar's fear is understandable. He was one of the 100 people to be hospitalised after drinking hooch in February, and with Halmira slated to vote on April 11, there is every reason to expect that liquor will start flowing through the tea gardens again.
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