Even after the assurances from the state government of providing security to the Kashmir borne oil-tankers, over 17 drivers were injured, two of them critical in a fresh attacks by unruly mob in different parts of the valley.
Meanwhile, taking strong note of the attacks, the union of oil tankers in Jammu warned the state government and gave 48 hours ultimatum to rectify the problem and provide security to the Jammu drivers. They said that if government failed to provide security to drivers, they will suspend the fuel supplies to Kashmir and Ladakh.
Khair Din Wani, president Oil Tanker Drivers and Cleaners Association, said that at least 17 vehicles were damaged in Kashmir. They were returning after off loading fuel supplies in the valley. 17 drivers were seriously injured in this attack and were shifted to different hospitals for treatment.
Wani said that there was no proper response from the Government regarding fool-proof security cover and arrangements made till now in Kashmir.
“I once again, warn the state government if they will not provide fool proof security to our members, then we will be compelled to suspend the supply of oil to Kashmir valley again”, Wani said.
Wani informed that today when our tankers returned to depot, 17 tankers were damaged and many drivers with multiple injuries arrived from Kashmir and they were mostly targeted at Awantipora, Sumbal, Gulmarg and Bijbehara by the mob. The drivers are continuously being attacked and under such circumstances, there is no scope of restoration of supplies to Valley, he informed.
Anan Sharma, president Jammu & Kashmir Petroleum Tankers Owners Association said, “Around 150 oil tankers were sent to valley on August 24 in which 17 tankers were targeted by violent mob in Sumbal area, Gulmarg near Gurudwara, Bijbehara and other areas of valley. In these attacks around 17 drivers were injured, two of them were shifted to hospitals for treatment where their conditions are stated to be out of danger.
Sharma warned, “We will give only 48 hours to government to rectify the problem and provide security to the drivers, if it failed to assure us security cover, we will suspend the supply oil supplies to Kashmir and Ladakh.”
He further said that they will, however, provide supply to army in Banihal, from where they take fuel in their own tankers.
One of the injured drivers, Pritam Singh said, “I was intercepted by the mob at Bijbhera wherein they smashed the window panes of my tanker and beat me mercilessly. I was forced to raise slogans in favour of Pakistan and slogans like, ‘We Want…?, I told the miscreants what does it mean as I am an illiterate.”