FROM A CORRESPONDENT
GOLAGHAT (Dhekial), April 22: The deprived people and families evicted by Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) staged three hours protest by forming human chain with the cooperation of various organizations, in front of the NRL township on Saturday demanding redressal of their grievances.
More than 1,000 people gathered and shouted various slogans against the NRL authority. The Numaligarh Refinery Limited was established under the Assam Accord after sacrifice of 855 martyrs. But the NRL authority has been neglecting and ignoring the expectations and demands of people of Assam, the protesters alleged.
The secretary of Ponka Anchalik Unyan Samiti (PAUS), Priyangdeep Kakoti alleged that the families who had lost their land and property for setting up NRL and families of labourers who had lost their lives in the NRL work site had still not been provided any assistance or compensation. They had allegedly been deprived by the NRL authority of their legal rights.
He also alleged that the people of nearby areas thought that they would be benefited economically, educatiolly and socially after establishment of NRL. But the NRL authority cheated the common people. The Central Government had instructed the NRL authority that they should pay interest in developing the nearby areas. But the NRL authority had failed to do so, he alleged. Further, the Ponka Anchalik Unyan Samiti alleged that the NRL authority had also not paid any interest to employ the youths of the nearby areas, even on a contractual basis.
Interestingly, no development zone has been declared covering 15-km area. Due to no development zone in the area, the small industries had completely closed down. As a consequence, many youths lost the means of self-employment, the Ponka Anchalik Unyan Samiti alleged.
Besides, the people of nearby areas have been demanding implementation of water supply project but a section of officials of the CSR department of NRL were ignoring public interest, alleged a section of local people.
The NRL authority observed NRL Day but general people and media persons were allegedly restricted from attending the programme. For this, intellectuals slammed the senior officials of NRL for not remembering the sacrifices of the martyrs on NRL Day.
In the protest, the members of Kaliani AJYCP, Morangi Gorkha Students’ Union, AISF and AASCSU also took part.