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20 Jun 2017

Tankers to stop fuel supply to Sikkim

RAJEEV RAVIDAS, TT, Kalimpong, June 19: An association of tanker drivers ferrying fuel from Siliguri to Sikkim today said they would stop the supply to the Himalayan state from Thursday to protest against alleged atrocities against people of the hills and in support of the Gorkhaland movement.
Bigendra Lama, the president of the Pragatisil Tanker Drivers' Association, said around 60 tankers brought fuel between various depots in and round Siliguri and Sikkim daily. "There are other tanker operators who ferry fuel to Sikkim. We will request them to stop plying their tankers to express solidarity with us," he said.
Lama said the decision to stop plying fuel tankers was taken in view of the killing of innocent people by police in Darjeeling. "We condemn the unprecedented police atrocities on our people. The state government is solely responsible for this. We seek the immediate intervention of the Centre to stop the atrocities and fulfil the demand for Gorkhaland," he said.
A source in the oil depot at Rangpo, the entry point to Sikkim, said: "We have a buffer stock in our depot to last for six days. However, if the protest is a prolonged one, Sikkim will definitely be adversely affected."
Incidents of arson and vandalism were reported from different parts of Kalimpong district in the past 24 hours. A truck from Siliguri and bound for Sikkim was torched on NH10 near Kalijhora this morning.
A passenger of the vehicle, Anikhet Chhetri, a resident of Teesta Valley, received severe burns and was admitted to a hospital in Siliguri.
Seven teams, comprising 98 personnel from Calcutta police, would be deployed in Darjeeling tomorrow, sources said.

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