Giving assurance to the citizens regarding talks of a fuel shortage in the state, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Friday said there is no shortage of petrol and diesel. The chief minister requested all citizens to not resort to panic buying of any essential commodities.
“There is no shortage of petrol and diesel in Meghalaya. Necessary actions have been initiated by the Government to ensure no shortage of stocks and supply. Request all citizens to not resort to panic buying of any essentials,” the CM tweeted adding that the govt has initiated necessary action to ensure no shortage of stock and supply.
The apex body of petroleum workers in Assam said it has stopped the transportation of fuel to the neighbouring state.
Vehicles Queue Up Infront of Petrol Pumps
Hundreds of vehicles were seen waiting at the petrol pumps as people scrambled to fill up tanks fearing shortage since Thursday afternoon. The queues of vehicles led to traffic snarls in the state capital here and in other parts of the state as well.
Police officers were seen regulating the movement of vehicles at some petrol pumps where motorists turned unruly while waiting for their turn.
The Assam Petroleum Mazdoor Union (APMU) had sent letters to all PSU oil marketing companies, including IOC, HPCL and BPCL, informing them about its decision to not load fuel in tankers.
The union expressed concern over the safety of Assam vehicles in Meghalaya amid violence following the killing of six people at the inter-state border.
“Our drivers and handymen were attacked when there were disturbances in Meghalaya earlier. Some of them were critically injured… We cannot take any risk again,” APMU general secretary Ramen Das had told PTI. He alleged that trucks supplying non-petroleum products were pelted with stones in the last two days but “no harm has been done to oil tankers as of now”.
Meghalaya Civil Supplies Director Pravin Bakshi on Thursday directed for the arrangement of police escorts to such vehicles after the Assam Petroleum Mazdoor Union (APMU) announced that it has stopped transporting fuel to Meghalaya fearing violence.
“Necessary arrangements for patrolling/providing police escorts wherever possible may kindly be explored on all national highways to ensure smooth movement of vehicles carrying essential commodities,” the letter had stated.Bakshi also directed the district authorities to ensure sufficient stock of fuel at all petrol pumps.
Assam-Meghalaya Border Dispute
Following Tuesday’s violence at Mukroh, on the disputed Assam-Meghalaya border in which six people were killed, violence spread across Meghalaya and in the state capital where protestors lobbed petrol bombs at a police bus, a jeep, a traffic police kiosk and hurled stones at the police injuring as many as four of them on Thursday night. Three other civilians were also injured when unidentified miscreants assaulted them near the protest site.
The North East Students’ Organisation (NESO) on Thursday said the violence at the Assam-Meghalaya border that killed six people was an outcome of the long-standing border dispute between the two states.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has been saying that the Assam-Meghalaya border is peaceful, and Tuesday’s violence had nothing to do with the demarcation disputes, and erupted between locals and forest guards over wood cutting.
A meeting was held between two NESO member organisations — All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and Khasi Students’ Union (KSU) — on the sidelines of a conference of the apex students’ body of the region in Tripura over the violence.
“We would like to call upon all the indigenous people that this issue is not an ethnic issue but of border dispute, which the respective state governments are duty bound to solve,” the NESO said in a statement.
(With inputs from PTI)
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