SRINAGAR: Citing security reasons, the J&K Oil Tankers Association has decided to suspend supply to Kashmir and Leh, and have asked administration to provide security to their drivers after receiving threats from some local masked men.
The ‘motorcycle-borne youths brandishing guns and sharp-edged weapons have threatened drivers from Jammu to go away from Valley and warned them against ferrying fresh supplies’, an English daily published from New Delhi reported on Friday.
Reportedly over 150 loaded oil tankers are presently stranded at different locations along the highway beyond Jawahar tunnel. Atleast 70 of them have not been off-loaded and remain stranded outside the Srinagar oil depot due to prevailing situation across the valley.
Rest have been parked on different stretches between Lower Munda toll post and Pampore as local police authorities have prevented them from moving further, the report said.
Speaking to the daily, president, Oil and Tankers Association, Anan Sharma said, “Our drivers are scared as they have been receiving threats from local people. In view of the prevailing security situation we have decided to suspend the supplies and have also requested the State administration to provide us fool-proof security if they wish to maintain the supply line.”
Sharma alleged some of them (drivers) have been thrashed and windscreens of majority of the tankers have been broken by stone pelters in the area.
“We even met Inspector General of Police Jammu range Danesh Rana on Thursday and apprised him about the ground situation. Though he has given us an assurance that he would speak to his counterpart in Kashmir Valley to make adequate security arrangements we have decided to suspend supplies till our genuine demands are honoured and we are given security,” the newspaper quoted Sharma said.
Meanwhile, a large number of drivers and owners of petrol/oil tankers also staged a protest outside the oil depot in Jammu, high-lighting their plight and the indifferent attitude of the various State Government agencies towards ensuring safety and security of drivers along the national highway.
He said most of the drivers and cleaners have run out of essential supplies as they have been stranded in the area for the last 4-5 days. Instead of coming to their rescue the protestors are targeting them.