Hundreds of villagers of Baghjan under the banner of Baghjan Gaon Yuba Milanjyoti Sangha (BGYMS) staged a sit-in protest in front of the Tinsukia Deputy Commissioner’s office demanding to stop the drilling of illegal Oil wells at Baghjan in upper Assam Tinsukia district on Tuesday.

The protesters holding posters and banners protested for two hours demanding Oil India Ltd to stop drilling of Oil wells in the area.

BGYMS president Satyajit Moran said, “Today, we have held a two-hour sit-in protest near Tinsukia DC office seeking various demands. Again, John Energy Ltd was given the tender of drilling at Baghjan. John Energy was a black listed company then why Oil India Ltd has given the tender to them.”

“We are against this drilling company and we don’t want this company to engage in drilling. All the Oil fields are illegal in Baghjan but still, OIL has been operating the Oil fields in the region. At least 27 Oil fields are in full operation in Baghjan and OIL has been planning to set up seven more new Oil fields in Baghjan. We strongly oppose the move of OIL,” Satyajit Moran added.

He added, “Gauhati High Court had already given a stayed the Centre’s permission to Oil India Ltd (OIL) to drill seven Wells inside Dibru-Saikhowa National Park. But OIL has been forcefully trying to drill the seven Wells.”

The stay order was issued by a division bench of Chief Justice (Acting) N Kotiswar Singh and Justice Manish Chowdhury disposing of a PIL filed jointly by advocate Mrinmoy Khataniar and mountaineer Amar Jyoti Deka.

The PIL was filed against the Centre’s approval to OIL for drilling inside the forest very rich in biodiversity by amending existing norms like public hearing under the draft Environment Impact Assessment Notification 2020.

BGYMS submitted a memorandum to Tinsukia DC with their eight important charter of demand.

Avik Chakraborty

Avik Chakraborty is Northeast Now Correspondent in Dibrugarh. He can be reached at: babs8oct@gmail.com