Operations were disrupted at oil wells of Oil India Limited (OIL) because of the 24-hour oil blockade programme called by six local organisations of the Moran community in protest against police action against protesters at Baghjan in Assam’s Tinsukia district on Saturday.

On July 24, several persons who were part of a group of 400 villagers agitating against the non-payment of compensation in the Baghjan oil well blowout incident were injured during lathi-charge and rubber bullet firing by the police.

Police used force to disperse the people who were blocking a strategic link road leading to the Baghajan oil field area of OIL for the last one week.

Four policemen were also injured during stone-pelting by the protesters.

All Moran Students’ Union (AMSU) general secretary Munin Duarah said, “We have called the oil blockade programme along with five other Moran organizations to protest against the unprovoked lathi charge and firing by the police on the peacefully agitating people.”

He said that the protest had taken place because OIL has yet to give full compensation to the victims of the Baghjan blowout.

“They were peacefully protesting for their compensation and it didn’t warrant such strong police action. We demand the unconditional release of the innocent persons who were arrested and proper treatment to the injured people,” Duarah said.

OIL spoke person Tridiv Hazarika said, “The 24-hour oil blockade has hampered production in our oilfields in Tinsukia district. Almost 60% of OIL’s production comes from the Tinsukia district. We are estimating a loss of 500-600 kilolitres of crude oil due to the blockade.”

Avik Chakraborty

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