The authority of the Indian government has been challenged in Assam where a crisis has developed over the supply of oil from Assam to the rest of India.
GV Pickets outside Oil Administration building in Narengi, India
GV Buses arriving at building with more pickets (2 shots)
GV Pickets outside Oil Administration building
CU PAN Flags outside building
GV Women demonstrators marching down street waving banners (2 shots)
SV Signs on wall reading, "Go Back Foreigners, No deportation, no oil."
GV AND SV Student Union building in Gauhati (3 shots)
SV INTERIOR Student meeting in progress (4 shots)
GV PAN Deserted railway line street during curfew
LV AND GVs Demonstrators marching through street (4 shots)
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Background: The authority of the Indian government has been challenged in Assam where a crisis has developed over the supply of oil from Assam to the rest of India. Assamese demonstrators have picked the oil installation at Narengi, six miles (9.5 kilometres) from the state capital of Gauhati, causing shortages of fuel and oil products after nearly seven months of agitation.
SYNOPSIS: Thousand of Assamese have been picketing Oil India's pipeline headquarters in the troubled north-eastern state. Oil supplies from the region have been halted, causing shortages of kerosene and diesel oil that have cost the Indian government more than fifty million pounds (100 million dollars) a month. Buses brought thousands of reinforcements for the pickets.
There was almost a picnic atmosphere until the government of Mrs. Indira Gandhi, facing one of its most serious crises since Mrs. Gandhi was returned to power, moved to end the occupation on Sunday (20 April). The Assemese have risen against what they call 'foreigners' in their state. Workers from outside the region mainly originate from Bangladesh and Nepal. The demonstrators' banners say 'go back foreigners no deportation, no more oil.'
Students have been playing a leading role in pressing the region's demands for deportation. This meeting at Gauhati university followed the New Delhi government's refusal to agree to their demands to deport the foreign workers, many of whom have been in the region for generations. But Assam faces the possibility of yet more immigrant workers. Armed Indian police have seized the oil installation and arrested many pickets, (reported to number 3,000) leaving the problem of manning the oil facilities.
An earlier attempt (19 April) by the authorities to secure the oil head ended in failure when a curfew imposed in the region was defied by thousands of demonstrators. The troops retreated and the pickets resumed, but the early morning raid (20 April) by the armed police forced them to retreat and assemble five miles (8 kilometres) outside Narengi. But while the occupation has ended, resumption of oil production is not certain while the oil workers are on strike.