Blockade against oil tankers, goods trucks partially lifted

[Prafulla Kaman]

 SILAPATHAR, Oct 1: The Silapathar Town Public Truck Owner Association and other agitating organizations here in Assam have decided to lift the blockade against the passage of oil tankers and goods trucks heading towards East Siang and Lower Siang districts, bordering Assam, from Thursday.

The agitators, who have resorted to an indefinite blockade against oil tankers and goods trucks plying towards East Siang and other districts of middle Arunachal, took the decision after receiving assurance from the administrative and police officials of East Siang and Lower Siang districts to look into their grievances in the respective districts, during a negotiation held here on Thursday.

The truck owners, with support from the Driver-Handyman Association and the Tata Mobile Pick Up Union of Silapathar, launched the strike on 30 September, alleging harassment to their drivers and handymen in different parts of Arunachal and charging of exorbitant fees at the entry gates.

According to the agitators, the strike against East Siang and Lower Siang districts has been lifted, but lifting the strike against other districts, such as West Siang, Leparada, Upper Siang, Siang and Upper Subansiri districts, is under consideration.

“We submitted papers urging the district administrations in Arunachal to solve our problems, but availed no response, other than from East Siang and Lower Siang districts. We will continue the strike until their positive response and assurance is gained,” said Ashok Kr Singh, president the Truck Owner Association.

Representing the East Siang district administration, Ruksin EAC T Pertin paid heed to the agitators’ demands and assured them of full protection for their vehicles and men in his district.

Ruksin PS OC, Inspector A Taying too assured of safety and security for the truckers within his jurisdiction.

Likabali EAC E Angu assured the agitators that their drivers and handymen would no longer face any hardship in Lower Siang district when they arrive to supply fuel and other essential items.

Sissiborgaon (Dhemaji) CO Jitendra Taid also urged the agitators to resolve their problems amicably, rather than taking the path of agitation.

Representatives of various social organizations, including Adi-Mising Baane Kebang vice president Austeem Muang, TMPK (Mising students) leaders Tusar Ngatey and Hem Chandra Doley, and leaders of the agitating organizations took part in the meeting.

Many districts in Arunachal, including East Siang, are facing shortage of fuel, food items and building materials due to the ongoing strike.