Shillong, Nov 24 (PTI) Massive queues of vehicles were seen at petrol pumps across Meghalaya on Thursday evening after the apex body of petroleum workers in Assam said it has stopped transportation of fuel to the neighbouring state.
Hundreds of vehicles were seen waiting at the petrol pumps as people scrambled to fill up tanks fearing shortage. The queues of vehicles led to traffic snarls in Shillong and some other parts of the state.
Police officers were seen regulating the movement of vehicles at some petrol pumps where motorists turned unruly while waiting for their turn.
The Assam Petroleum Mazdoor Union (APMU) sent letters to all PSU oil marketing companies, including IOC, HPCL and BPCL, informing them about its decision to not load fuel in tankers.
The union expressed concern over the safety of Assam vehicles in Meghalaya amid violence following the killing of six people at the inter-state border.
"Our drivers and handymen were attacked when there were disturbances in Meghalaya earlier. Some of them were critically injured. They have become handicapped for their whole lives. We cannot take any risk again," APMU general secretary Ramen Das told PTI.
He alleged that trucks supplying non-petroleum products were pelted with stones in the last two days but "no harm has been done to oil tankers as of now".
"Therefore, we have decided not to take any load from today onwards until and unless Government of Meghalaya assures us (of) the safety and security of T/T (tank trucks) crews," the letter said.
The rush for fuel at the Meghalaya petrol pumps began after the letter started circulating on social media.
The Petrol Pump Dealers Association of Meghalaya said it has asked the state government to intervene to resolve the crisis.
Six people, including a forest guard, were killed in violence at a disputed area along the Assam-Meghalaya border on Tuesday, after a truck transporting illegally-felled timber was intercepted by forest personnel of Assam. PTI JOP SOM SOM