Tea planters in North Bengal are a worried lot today—scared for their lives. For about a decade now they have been helplessly watching their counterparts in neighbouring Assam waging a seemingly losing battle with various militant outfits. But now trouble is knocking at their doors too.
The year 2000 has brought them face to face with a new reality—at least two new militant outfits have emerged in the state in the recent past and they are adopting the same terror tactics as those employed by insurgents in Assam and the rest of the northeast. Not surprisingly, the ‘chicken’s neck’, the narrow corridor linking north Bengal and the northeast, is fast turning into a hot-bed of militancy, sending panic waves in the corridors of power in West Bengal and Sikkim.