Members of Sangrami Yuba Chatra Parisad, Assam staging a protest against the proposed privatization of the NRL, in Sivsagar. (File image)

Protests erupted in Assam as reports over privatisation of Numaligarh Refinery Ltd (NRL) are doing the rounds in Assam.

As per media reports Centre has planned to allow disinvestment in Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL).

NRL, being a subsidiary of BPCL, will automatically go to the hands of private companies after disinvestment in BPCL, which holds 61.65 % of share of the Miniratna Company.

As a mark of protest ten members of Oikya Sena Asom’s (OSA) Golaghat district committee on Monday tonsures their heads in front of the main gate of NRL and staged three hour long sit in demonstration.

NRL, an outcome of the six-year-long historic Assam Agitation, was set up with a view to giving a push in the battle against the poor economic status of the Northeastern people.

“When people of Assam expected that the NRL would contribute in economic uplift of the people of region, this move of the centre to hand over NRL to some private entities has shocked us.  Such a move is not acceptable at all,” said Tofik Ahmed, chief secretary of OSA’s Golaghat district committee.

The activists of All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) also staged a dharna in front of marketing terminal of NRL.

Around 500 hundred students from various educational institutes gathered under the banner of AASU’s Golaghat district unit.

The protestors shouted slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal.

They lashed out at Prime Minister Modi and chief minister Sonowal for their NRL privation bid.

“NRL is not just any other refinery, it was set up as per provision of the Assam Accord of 1985 which was signed after six-year-long Assam Agitation where 855 youths scarified their lives.

“Therefore, deep emotions of every Assamese people are involved in it,” Monowar Hussain, assistant general secretary of AASU, said.

“We urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to show respect to the sentiments of the people of Assam and Northeast and refrain from going ahead with the privatisation plan,” he said.

Both AASU and OSA sent memoranda to the Prime Minister thorough the deputy commissioner of Golaghat.

Ritupallab Saikia

Ritupallab Saikia is Northeast Now Correspondent in Golaghat. He can be reached at: mousum.saikia@gmail.com

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