Assam Paper Mills: AJP Launches Online Signature Campaign
GUWAHATI: The regional front of Asom Jatiya Parishad (AJP) has begun an online signature campaign to reach out to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to revive the two paper mills in the state instead of auctioning them.
The debt-ridden and now-defunct Nagaon and Cachar paper mills of the government-owned Hindustan Paper Mill Corporation Limited (HPCL) were facing the issuance of an e-auction notice. An auction notice published fixed the reserve price of the paper mills at Rs 1,139 crore.
The AJP campaign was launched by its president and former All Assam Student’s Union (AASU) leader Lurinjyoti Gogoi after one Abdul Hannan, an employee of Cachar Paper Mill, whose salary was withheld for the last 54 months passed away on Sunday allegedly due to lack of financial resources for his treatment.
Over 1,200 employees of these two mills were deprived of their dues for over 50 months now. While the Nagaon Paper Mill has been closed (without notice) in March 2017, the Cachar Paper Mill was shut down (also without notice) in October 2015.
Out of some 88 dead employees, four committed suicide so far.
“Raise your voice against this injustice by signing the petition,” said Gogoi while reminding that the BJP government had promised to revive the paper mills.
“We would, Mr. Prime Minister, therefore, request your kind and immediate intervention to stop the sale of these two industries, which have been considered as the pride of this aspiring state, source of employment for thousands of people, and subjects of the sentiment of the people of Assam,” the petition said.
The AJP leader also suggested that the state government formed under chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarmah may take the opportunity to conceptualize a proposal to acquire the two paper mills from the Centre and develop a modern mechanism to operationalize the same.