Bokajan: In the aftermath of the Tuesday fire that burnt a series of fuel tankers in a parking lot here, panic has gripped the residents of the Khatkhati area where a dozen such parking lot operate and pilfer fuel from tankers in a regular basis.
At least five tankers were burnt on Tuesday by a devastating fire that reportedly sparked off from an electric motor used to pump out fuel from the tankers parked here. As per the primary investigation, it appeared to be a clear handiwork of some fuel theft racket involved in the round the clock concoction of mixing a range of highly inflammable chemical solvent with petrol under the very nose of the government authorities and the district policing machinery.
It needs to be mentioned here that the recent episode of tanker inferno is the fifth instance of fire engulfing fuel tanker in the past couple of years.
Reports also highlight the fact that these syndicates of the organized gang are responsible for supplying contaminated fuel to various fuel refilling stations in Nagaland and Manipur. Earlier, these syndicates had their base at Dimapur in Nagaland but after a recent crackdown by Nagaland police, they have booted out of Nagaland and conveniently shifted their base in Khatkhati close to Dimapur.
"The kingpins of Nagaland fuel adulteration are part of this syndicate. They include PDS kerosene dealers and several fuel station owners of Nagaland. The same gang was involved in the earlier episodes of fire in Khatkhati but no action has been initiated against them till date. They shall manage to give a slip this time as well," said a local who is well versed with the illegal trade.