Oil India warned to stop Brahmaputra work

Vol 10, PW 17 (14 Dec 06) News in Brief
     

Environmentalists are already up in arms against Oil Indias plans to explore the Brahmaputra riverbed in Assam but now the company faces another threat.

Raju Barua, deputy chief of ULFAs armed wing, tells this report: Brahmaputra is holy for all Assamese and the source of our life. We cannot see it polluted.

We will blow up oil rigs and kidnap their engineers if they try drilling in the river. Oil India dismisses the threats.

ULFA is not what it was, says a source. They are trying to whip up sentiments.

Oil India says it has been promised security by the Assam government and will carry out exploration regardless. Security agencies are not taking the ULFA threat lightly because Raju Barua is seen as a hot-head with a record of kidnappings.

Assams Brahmaputra River is home to a rare species of river dolphin. Over the past 20 years the worldwide river dolphin population has declined from 6000 to 2000, of which 250 live in the Brahmaputra.