No picnic for Oil India in Assam

Vol 16, PW 14 (07 Feb 13) News in Brief

Volatile northeast Indian state Assam is a difficult place to work and nobody knows it better than Oil India.

It received a letter on January 2 from local activists trying to blackmail it into giving them Rs5000 ($94) and a bus so they could go for a picnic. When Oil India failed to respond, about 25 local activists surrounded the entrance to its Makum drilling site at 10am on January 3.

Eight women were among the hostile activists who blocked Oil India employees from entering the site to begin the 1pm shift. These Oil India employees were forced to wait till 6pm before they could relieve their beleaguered colleagues from the early morning 5am shift, trapped at the site.

"Company policy prevents us from entertaining such demands,” says an Oil India source based at Duliajan. But another company source confirms Oil India did finally give the activists a bus.

Oil India is drilling a development well at Makum.

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