Guwahati, April 10: Responding to media reports about the proscribed militant group ULFA (Independent) issuing threat to close down its operation/business in Assam, the Amalgamated Plantations Pvt Limited (AAPL), a frontline tea company, has stated that it remains firmly committed to the State Assam.
It has also stated that it will seek intervention of appropriate authorities to protect the interests of its employees and its facilities in the state.
The company in an official communique has informed that majority of its employees, 12,000 of whom are shareholders of the company, hail from the state of Assam.
“We continue to maintain our main operating office in Guwahati and have 21 tea estates/ operating units across Assam, employing almost 50,000 people (including seasonal workers). We have invested substantially in two tea processing units at Hatigor and Lettakoojan tea estates and in a spice processing centre near Misa,” the company has stated.
The statement further says, “In addition to business investments and employment opportunities, we run various community welfare initiatives for livelihood, education, skill development and healthcare, that have positively impacted lives of about 2.5 lakh people in the state over the last 5 years.”
“We are saddened by the recent allegations and their (ULFA-I) tonality, based on misplaced understanding of our efforts in the state. We will seek intervention of the appropriate authority to protect the interest of our employees and facilities in Assam,” the APPL has stated.
The ULFA-I led by fugitive insurgents’ leader, Paresh Barua on April 8 threatened to close down the business of the APPL in Assam unless the company stops recruiting people from outside Assam and shifts its Corporate Headquarter and Registered Office to Assam.
The ULFA-I notice which was circulated among media persons here, the militant group stated that it appreciated the company doing business exploiting resources of Assam for profit, but it at the same time must ensure that the indigenous people of Assam too get benefits out of the business of the APPL.
The ULFA-I criticized the management of the company for recruiting people from outside the state of Assam and keeping its Registered Office and Corporate Headquarter outside Assam.
The rebel group has also taken exception to the APPL’s policy of manning its Administrative Office in Guwahati by engaging employees only on contract.
However, the website of the APPL says that it has its Corporate Office at Christian Basti on G S Road in Guwahati. It has its headquarter at 1 Bishop Lefroy Road in Kolkata.