scorecardresearch
Assam: ULFA-I accuses Oil India of exploiting state resources, demands appointment of qualified indigenous individuals

Assam: ULFA-I accuses Oil India of exploiting state resources, demands appointment of qualified indigenous individuals

The banned militant group, United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I), has issued a stern condemnation of Oil India Limited (OIL) for allegedly deceiving the indigenous population of Assam. In a strongly worded public letter, ULFA-I accused the oil and tea industries of exploiting Assam's resources and marginalizing its people.

advertisement

The banned militant group, United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent (ULFA-I), has issued a stern condemnation of Oil India Limited (OIL) for allegedly deceiving the indigenous population of Assam. In a strongly worded public letter, ULFA-I accused the oil and tea industries of exploiting Assam's resources and marginalizing its people.

"The backbone of Assam's economy lies in its oil fields, coal, and tea industries," the letter states. "However, these sectors have consistently deceived and deprived the indigenous people of Assam across all fields for centuries. Recently, Oil India Limited and Oil India Corporation Limited have continued this trend by maintaining an illegal occupation of Assam's oil fields."

ULFA-I specifically criticizes the recent transfer of headquarters from Duliajan to the newly named Oil Corporation of India (OCI) office in Digboi. They allege that this move has led to the appointment of non-local individuals in positions that should have gone to qualified local candidates, thereby discriminating against skilled engineers, officers, and employees from Assam.

"The illegal exploitation of resources and discriminatory practices against the indigenous people are unacceptable," ULFA-I declared. "If Oil India Limited and Oil Corporation of India Ltd. continue these practices, we will be compelled to take strict action."

The militant outfit has set forth the following demands:
1. Cease the transfer of all departments of Oil India Limited and maintain operations in Duliajan.
2. Appoint qualified indigenous individuals to top officer posts in Oil India Limited.
3. Prioritize local experienced and skilled companies for drilling and exploration of oil wells.
4. Replace foreign recruits in the Digboi Refinery with qualified indigenous candidates.

ULFA-I also highlighted the plight of Assam's tea industry, stating that small tea farmers have been in crisis for the past two hundred years, unable to receive fair prices for their raw leaves since British rule. They allege that large companies and bottle leaf factories have recently decided to stop purchasing raw leaves from smallholder farmers, citing various reasons. This has led to physical and mental harassment of indigenous farmers and workers by foreign management.

The group issued specific demands to the tea industry:
1. Ensure 100% recruitment of qualified indigenous persons from Chief Manager to General Employee in every small and large tea plantation and bottle leaf factory in Assam.
2. Immediately reverse the decision to stop purchasing raw leaves from smallholder farmers and provide other necessary facilities.
3. Bottle leaf factories should cease procuring raw leaves from foreign commercial plantations and instead buy from indigenous farmers of Assam.

ULFA-I also urged small tea farmers to stop using prohibited and harmful chemicals to boost production and profitability, emphasizing the need to maintain the international reputation of Assam tea.

Edited By: Nandita Borah
Published On: Jun 08, 2024