The Garden Route To Ulfa

FOR tea giant Tata Tea, the last few years in Assam have been troublesome. First, its senior executive Bolin Bordoloi was kidnapped by Bodo militants and kept hostage for 11 months in 1993. Two more tea garden managers were picked up in 1995 by the banned United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA). Now, the Assam police alleges that the company directly funded the medical treatment of a top ULFA leader.

As Assam DGP K. Harishkeshan took the line that “there is sufficient evidence to prove that Tata Tea is funding militants in the state”, senior Tata Tea officials were put through the wringer. Its outgoing managing director R.K. Krishna Kumar and Mumbai-based official K. Sridhar secured anticipatory bail in Mumbai, but two other senior officers—executive director S.K. Kidwai and general manager S. Dogra—were grilled in marathon sessions in Guwahati. They were quizzed about the involvement of the company in financing and abetting ULFA militants.