JORHAT, Sept 7 - The Jorhat district administration has withdrawn the magisterial inquiry ordered into the incident of lynching Dr Deben Dutta of Teok Tea Estate on August 31.
On the night of August 31 itself, Jorhat Deputy Commissioner Roshni A Korati had announced a magisterial probe and directed Additional Deputy Commissioner Subhan Gowala to conduct an inquiry into the incident to find out the circumstances which led to the death of the doctor. He was asked to submit his report within 7 days.
Korati told The Assam Tribune that the magisterial probe has been withdrawn following the State Government announcing a high-level inquiry into the incident on Wednesday, which will be conducted by Commissioner and Secretary, Finance Department, Shyam Jagannathan.
It may be mentioned here that Gowala, who had since Sunday started conducting the probe, from September 3 to 5 held public hearings as part of the inquiry at the Teok Revenue Circle Officer’s premises.
On Wednesday, the wife of Dr Dutta with whom Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal spoke over telephone, reportedly demanded replacement of Gowala in carrying out the inquiry.
The IMA delegation led by its national president Dr Santanu Sen, which visited the slain doctor’s residence at Jogduwar off Teok, on Wednesday reportedly endorsed the said demand of Dutta’s wife.
Meanwhile, the lockout in all five divisions of Teok TE continued for the 7th day today.
Korati said that a second round of reconciliation talks chaired by her was held on Thursday to resolve the lockout matter, which was attended by the garden management officials, ABITA (Zone II) officials, Assistant Labour Commissioner (Jorhat), Medical Inspector of Plantations (Jorhat), and ACMS leaders.
She said there was progress made in the meeting with ACMS agreeing to the demand of the management to give a written assurance signed by all garden workers, stating not to indulge in any violence in future and not allow repeat of the August 31 incident.
The DC said that the workers’ union has assured to get the signatures at the earliest of the workers and submit the same to the management. She said after that the management is likely to lift the lockout.
Korati further said that the administration agreed to the ACMS request to provide medical service from the Teok First Referral Hospital to the garden in view of the doctor’s death till alternative arrangements were made by the garden management.