Assam: Protestors blocking road clash with police in Tinsukia, five injured

It was informed that the protestors were demanding full compensation for people affected in Baghjan fire, and therefore resorted to protests


By Avik Chakraborty


Tinsukia police had to resort to blank fire and baton-charge to disperse a group of protesters who had blocked the approach road leading to the Baghjan oil field area since last week.

It was informed that the protestors were demanding full compensation for people affected in Baghjan fire, and therefore resorted to protests

Police Informed that five protesters suffered injuries as police lathi-charged them, while four policemen were also injured as the fleeing protesters pelted stones at the police force. 

As the situation turned grim, police had to fire tear gas shells and rubber bullets to control the scene.

The protesters who are residents Baghjan area have been demanding the release of the full compensation as fixed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) for the people affected by last year's fire at Oil India Limited (OIL)'s gas well in Tinsukia district."

"Since the last one week, the protesters have been squatting on the road hampering movement of vehicles and crew of Oil India Limited to the oil field area," sources said.

On Saturday morning, officials of the Tinsukia district administration, accompanied by police and CRPF, reached the site and pleaded with the agitators to clear the road. As the protesters refused to lift the blockade even after several appeals, orders were given to evict the squatters by force. 

A Police vehcile vandalised by the protestors

"Since the past few days, the people of the area have been blocking the strategic approach road to the Baghjan oil field. They even refused to allow the passage of vehicles and equipment of Oil India Limited. They were adamant that unless the full compensation amount is paid movement vehicles or people will not be allowed," Tinsukia SP Debojit Deuri said.

Deuri further stated that the police personnel tried to reason with them (protesters) to lift the blockade, but they remained adamant on their demand. Ultimately police lathi-charge to disperse the crowd.

However, the protesters claimed that even after one year since the 2020 Baghjan fire incident, most of the affected are yet to receive the full compensation amount. 

Notably, OIL has been compensating the victims in a phase-wise manner and many are still on the waiting list.

 "We strongly condemn today's incident. Instead of sympathising with the people, the government is resorting to high handedness. The whole blame lies with the government and the district machinery," said Satyajit Moran, president of Baghjan Gaon Milanjyoti Yuba Sangha.

"Last year the NGT expert panel had fixed compensation of Rs 25 lakh for 173 families and Rs 20 lakh for another 439 families affected by the Baghjan blowout. But as of date, only 12 families have received Rs 25 lakh, 161 families have received Rs 15 lakh, and about 439 families have received Rs 10 lakh," Moran added.

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