DIGBOI April 2: Agitators belonging to scores of local organizations and associations, under the banner of Greater United Forum, resorted to economic blockade, thus preventing the employees and officials of Indian Oil Corporation, Assam Oil Division from entering the offices and other workplaces at several vital entry points, including administrative complex, Refinery, civil complex and ration stores. Administrative and refinery works were greatly affected by the agitation.
When several incidents of violence, vandalism and killings were reported from various States of the country during the Bharat bandh called by various Dalit organizations to protest the alleged dilution of the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989, the Greater United Forum Digboi launched economic blockade here at the entrance of the AOD Administrative Complex, around 100 metres away from Digboi Police Station, to demand solution to their grievances.
Several student bodies and other local socio-cultural organizations over a period of time have been undertaking a series of agitatiol agenda against the AOD authority, including peaceful demonstrations, for fulfilment of their long-pending demands. “Our demands include cent per cent contractual employment for the unemployed local youths of Digboi in various departments of the Corporation, including the newly commissioned oil termil at Golai, priority and access to local contractors in civil jobs and vehicle tendering, nurse training for local eligible females, special fincial arrangement for medical treatment of BPL families, provisions of scholarship for the poor and meritorious students of the locality. These demands have so far fallen into the deaf ears of the AOD magement,” said Pulikanta Moran, the secretary of the Greater United Forum Digboi.
Significantly, stressing on employment for local unemployed youths across the industry, Manjit Saikia, the president of the forum, alleged that the AOD magement had rendered a step-motherly attitude towards the memorandum submitted to this effect recently demanding cent per cent contractual employment for the local unemployed educated youth in the hospital, refinery, canteen and IOC termil. According to Saikia, depriving the local eligible youths, the magement had engaged people from outside in various jobs.
Meanwhile, on assurance by the AOD magement of responding within 72 hours, the deadline set by the forum, the eight hour-long economic blockade was filly lifted. Top officials of the AOD magement, on behalf of the Executive Director IOC (AOD), received the memorandum containing five-point charter of demands in presence of Rakesh Chetry, the Circle Officer of Margherita subdivision.