Doloo estate trade union leader detained!

According to AMSU members, the police as of Monday, are yet to state the reason for the detention

dolooImage: Manas Das

Amidst growing unrest among Doloo Tea Estate workers, Asom Mojuri Shramik Union (AMSU) General Secretary Mrinal Kanti Shome was detained by the Silchar police on May 22, 2022. Local democratic groups gathered in front of the District Magistrate’s office in protest of this detention on Monday.

On Sunday afternoon at around 3 PM, Silchar Sadar police officials picked up Shome from his house. Officers said that the Superintendent of Police (SP) wanted to meet him. However, after being taken to the SP’s office he was taken to the police station where he went through medical testing procedures.



Shome’s wife asked the SP about his condition but was only informed that Shome was being interrogated. According to AMSU member Arup Baishwa, as of Monday, “The police still haven’t stated the reason for his detainment nor confirmed his arrest.”

The local trade union leader was working with Doloo Tea Estate workers in opposing the Greenfield Airport project to be built on a part of the estate that could affect workers’ livelihood. Recently, even other tribal groups like the All India Union of Forest Working People (AIUFWP) and even the Bhoomi Adhikar Andolan voiced their support for the workers. Therefore, multiple democratic forces in Assam called for a mass rally in front of the Silchar District Magistrate’s office on Monday afternoon to condemn police harassment.

“Arresting of engaged leaders is a tool to fracture the strength of mass movements,” said the AMSU in a press release.

Meanwhile, a Congress delegation led by Opposition leader Debabrata Saikia visited the tea estate on the day of Shome’s detention. Saikia claimed he wanted to understand the issue in the region. However, state police blocked the group from entering the area.

To this, Saikia reportedly said, “The manner in which the Opposition was obstructed is a bad omen for democracy! We the people of Assam are the evidence that the BJP is destroying democracy in recent times!”


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