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AASU activists stage sit-in against NRL privatisation
Staff Correspondent

AASU members staging a demonstration in front of the NRL gate against Centre’s proposed decision to privatise NRL, at Numaligarh in Golaghat district on Monday. – Photo: Wasim Rahman
 JORHAT, Oct 15 - AASU and Oikya Sena Asom (OSA) activists on Monday staged a protest in Golaghat district against the proposed disinvestment of Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) with Numaligarh Refinery Ltd (NRL), a subsidiary that holds 61.65 per cent of share of BPCL.

 Both the organisations opposed the Centre’s proposed plan to privatise NRL.

Over 10 activists of the OSA, Golaghat district committee, tonsured their heads in front of the main gate of NRL and staged a three-hour demonstration.

“NRL was set up to boost the socio-economic status of the people of the north-eastern region. We had big expectations that NRL would contribute in enhancing the economic scenario of the region. The Centre’s proposed move to hand over the refinery to private entities is unacceptable,” Tofik Ahmed, secretary of the OSA’s Golaghat district committee said.

Activists of the AASU also staged a sit-in demonstration in front of NRL’s marketing terminal.

Over 500 students from various educational institutes staged a protest under the AASU’s Golaghat district unit. The protesters shouted slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and castigated the duo for their alleged role in the proposed decision to disinvest NRL.

“NRL is not like any other refinery. It was the outcome of the Assam Accord of 1985, which was signed following the six-year-long Assam Agitation in which 855 youths were martyred. NRL is closely linked to the sentiment and emotions of the people of the State,” Monowar Hussain, AASU’s assistant general secretary observed.

Taking a swipe at Sarbananda Sonowal, Hussain said that the Chief Minister statement that he was unaware about NRL’s privatisation plan is simply ridiculous and hard to believe.

“We urge the Prime Minister to keep NRL as a public sector unit. We also demand expansion of the refinery from 3 million metric tonnes per annum to 9 MMT per annum, be continued.”

AASU and OSA later submitted memoranda to the Prime Minister through Golaghat Deputy Commissioner Dhirendranath Hazarika demanding shelving of the proposed decision to privatise NRL.

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