Press Release: Public resolution on Fuel Adulteration
19th September, 2016
It’s been months since the exposure on fuel adulteration was made by the ACAUT Nagaland and while the public had hoped that a CBI inquiry would be instituted by the state government, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) was instead set up on 14th July to probe the matter. Unfortunately, while the case had been dragging on at a painful pace, the kingpins involved in the fuel racket were all released on bail except for Mr. Ajay Prasad, arrested by the Kohima Police when his oil tanker was seized en-route to Imphal transporting Zero solvent (one of the key components for fuel adulteration). Thus, the fact of the matter as presented before the public meeting by the ACAUT Nagaland, a people’s mandated anti-corruption movement, was that the fuel adulteration case was falling apart. Therefore, the issue was thrown in the people’s court for thorough deliberation in the form of a public meeting held on 10th September, 2016, at Hotel Lake Shilloi, Dimapur, where publicly spirited individuals and civil society organisations attended the consultative deliberation. The house was impressed with the following facts:
- The adulteration kingpins, namely, Srikanth, Dinanath, Noval, and Umesh are out on bail despite the very serious nature and sensitivity of the case.
- The other Kingpin, Ajay Prasad, was arrested by the Kohima police on 9/8/16 and his bail application was rejected by the CJM, Kohima, on 7/9/16
- On 10th August, 2016, the court of CJM, Dimapur, ordered the release of 8 empty tankers from inside the adulteration site at Nagami Petrol Pump, Chumoukedima. Accordingly, the police carried out the order on 31th August. Interestingly, the SIT had no clue that the 8 tankers were ordered to be released prior to 30th August. Whereas the original police seizure memo listed only 7 empty tankers out of 11, the rest 4 tankers being laden with SK oil. And whereas the Investigative Officer, Diphupar Police station, without the presence of Chumoukedima public and ACAUT members as witnesses, entered the sealed premises and re-entered the total number of empty tankers as 8 in the memo. This was a serious procedural lapse.
- The Public Prosecutor was confronted with the anomaly by the ACAUT members. The PP expressed his helplessness to stop the 8 tankers from being released despite the adulteration premises being a crime scene. Very interestingly, the PP also admitted that he had not contested the bail application of the 4 kingpins nor was in a position to move for the cancellation of the given bail.
Basing on the above circumstantial evidences, it is indeed horrifying that crucial evidences related to the case should be tampered with like it happened with the oil tankers. The whole case is being handled in such an unprofessional and incompetent manner that the House unanimously decided that there can be no further mishandling of the case nor the case allowed to be picked apart. The unanimous opinion was that all the guilty parties in the fuel racket should be punished as per the FIR filed by the ACAUT. The House thus resolved on the following in its 10th September meeting:
- A Coordinating Committee on Fuel Adulteration comprising of two representatives each from Naga Council Dimapur, NTC, NWHD, CAVCA, CCCTA, BAN, YAN, DUCCF, NMDA, DEEHA, Diphupar Naga Students’ Union, ENSUD, DALT, SN, NHRA, EDBA, Consumer Society, Petroleum Dealers’ Association, Chumoukedima Town Youth Organisation, and DDCF be constituted to pursue the matter.
- The House resolved to serve 15 (fifteen) days’ time to the Nagaland State Government to bring in the CBI for thorough investigation of the fuel adulteration issue. It also resolved that all the adulteration kingpins should be re-arrested.
- In the event of failure by the state Government to fulfill demand no.2, the Coordinating Committee will enforce bandh on national highways within the state in any form it deems fit.
The Co-ordination Committee on its part will submit the public memorandum to the state government through the office of the Chief Secretary at its convenient time. The public resolution will take effect only after the memorandum has been formally handed over to the Chief Secretary.
Coordinating Committee on Fuel AdulterationSd/-
- CAVCA (Chumoukedima Area Village Council Association) comprising of 55 villages
- DEEHA ( Darogapathar, Eralibill, Ekranipathar, Hollohon Village, Aoyimti)
- CTYO (Chumoukedima Town Youth Organisation)
- DNSU ( Diphupar Naga Students’ Union)
- CCCTA (Chumoukedima Chamber of Commerce and Trade Association)
- EDBA (East Dimapur Business Association)
- NHRA (Nagaland Hotels and Restaurants Association)
- Senior Citizens’ Forum
- ACAUT Nagaland
Media Cell, ACAUT Nagaland.