Petroleum Union Halts Deliveries to Meghalaya Over Police Misconduct

News Reporter News Reporter
Tuesday, November 28, 2023
Petroleum Union Halts Deliveries to Meghalaya Over Police Misconduct
Oil Supply Disruption Looms as NE Petroleum Workers Protest Alleged Police Harassment
Guwahati, 28 November, 2023: In a move that could impact fuel supply in Meghalaya, the North East Petroleum Mazdoor Union (NEPMU) has announced a halt to the delivery of IOCL, BPCL, and HPCL petroleum products starting November 29. This decision comes in the wake of reported harassment faced by oil tanker drivers from Meghalaya Police, sparking concerns about the potential disruption of fuel availability in the region.

The NE Petroleum Mazdoor Union conveyed its decision in a letter addressed to the Minister of Food, Civil Supply, and Consumer Affairs, Government of Meghalaya. According to the letter, the alleged mistreatment of oil tanker drivers and helpers by Meghalaya Police in Ri Bhoi district since November 24 has compelled the union to take this drastic step.

General Secretary Ramen Das highlighted the distressing situation faced by their members, stating, "Since 24-11-2023, Meghalaya Police have been torturing our members, Oil Tanker Drivers, and helpers in the name of malpractices in Ri-Bhoi District, starting from 18 Mile." He emphasized that police actions, including detaining loaded tankers without proper cause, have left innocent tanker crews facing problems. As a result, tanker drivers are apprehensive about transporting petroleum products into Meghalaya.

Das, in his letter, expressed willingness to cooperate with authorities if any member is caught violating laws. However, he strongly condemned the harassment of innocent individuals under the guise of malpractices. "In the name of malpractices, any innocent persons should not be harassed," he added.

The NEPMU disclosed that reliable sources have reported instances of physical torture and coercion by police personnel when tanker drivers deny allegations. Considering the risks these tanker crews undertake to serve the people of Meghalaya, the union has decided not to load petroleum products for Meghalaya from IOCL, BPCL, and HPCL starting November 29, 2023, until the matter is resolved.

As tensions rise between the NE Petroleum Mazdoor Union and Meghalaya Police, the potential disruption in petroleum product supplies raises concerns about the impact on businesses and the general public. Authorities will need to address the grievances promptly to avert a fuel crisis in the region. The NEPMU's decision to suspend deliveries underscores the urgency for a resolution to ensure the smooth flow of essential commodities in Meghalaya.