The burning of eight oil tankers of Oil India Ltd (OIL) at Jagun on Tuesday has given rise to speculation on why such destructive actions causing great loss should be undertaken by anyone, considering that such actions achieve nothing positive for anyone including the arsonists. The Assam Police suspects the banned outfit NSCN(K) to be behind the attack. The culprits are unlikely to derive any benefits from the burnt tankers. If they expect this act of arson to result in any future gains, they could be much in the error, since such acts only lead to tighter security measures. As it is, a top official of OIL Eastern Asset, Digboi has regretted that the attack should have taken place at all despite the OIL authorities spending several lakhs of rupees every year on securing a team of 15 armed personnel from the Assam Police to be deputed from Jagun to the Kharsang oil fields for escorting tankers and protection of OIL properties and staff during transportation. The cost of the escorting vehicles for the armed security personnel was also borne separately by the oil industry after similar attacks were perpetrated in the same militancy-affected belt in 2007 wherein several oil tankers were set on fire and a tanker driver was killed. Tuesday’s act of arson may perhaps achieve one objective quite successfully: that no major investor would be at all inclined to invest in any kind of industrial development Assam. As for the government, the most important objective would be to identify the arsonists and to ensure the sternest punishment laid down in our laws for such acts of destruction of public property.
Pointless Act of Arson