Oil tankers guarded by armed personnel enter violence-hit Meghalaya as fuel supply resumes
Shillong, Nov 25 (PTI) At least 20 oil tankers, guarded by armed personnel, entered Meghalaya from Assam on Friday, ending the uncertainty over fuel supply to the state, officials said.
There is no fuel shortage in the state, they said, allaying apprehensions after the Assam Petroleum Mazdoor Association (APMA) stopped fuel supply to Meghalaya raising concern over security amid violence after six people were killed at the border of the two states.
APMA members started loading fuel in tankers after the Meghalaya government assured them of security.
"So far six oil tankers with Assam registration have entered Meghalaya through Jorabad today. Another 15 or so with local registration have also proceeded inside," a senior police officer of the Ri-Bhoi district told PTI.
The oil tankers were moving smoothly with no untoward incident reported, he said.
On Thursday evening, hundreds of vehicles were seen waiting at the petrol pumps in the state as people scrambled to fill up tanks fearing shortage. The queues of vehicles led to traffic snarls in Shillong and some other parts of Meghalaya.
On the apprehension expressed by the drivers on their return journey, police said the empty oil tankers would also be escorted out with armed guards.
Five vehicles were burnt on Tuesday and Wednesday nights in Meghalaya amid violence over the killings at the state's border with Assam, officials said.
Five people from Meghalaya were killed in firing by the Assam Police along the inter-state border on Tuesday as they tried to control an armed mob that allegedly attacked them, leading to the death of a forest guard, after a truck transporting illegally-felled timber was intercepted, according to officials.
The Petrol Pump Dealers Association of Meghalaya welcomed the decision of the APMA to resume fuel supply.
"We are grateful that all stakeholders came to an understanding and ended a crisis-like situation," a senior leader of the association said. PTI JOP SOM SOM