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By A Newsman

Siliguri, 28 December: RENOWNED tea trade union leader of north Bengal, Chitta De, is no more.

De passed away due to age at his residence at Mahanta Para in Jalpaiguri early this morning. He was 86.

De had been an undisputed tea trade union leader, who fought relentlessly for the rights of the tea workers of north Bengal. At the time of his demise, he was the convenor of the Joint Forum of 24 tea trade unions belonging to various political parties barring the Trinamool Congress.

Despite being a Left leaning trade union personality, De never hesitated in launching agitation against the then Left Front government over the rights and dues of the tea workers. He continued the same strife even after the Trinamool came to power in 2011.

Grief stricken by his demise, several trade union and political leaders paid their last tribute to the mortal remains of De at Jalpaiguri. His last rites will be performed later today.

In a statement, the CPI-ML (Liberation) affiliated AICCTU state committee has termed De’s demise as a great loss to trade union movement. “Defying his age, he was always active like a young fighter. He was instrumental in sharping up the Joint Forum,” the statement read.