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‘Arrested NEPMU members will be granted bail only by court’

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SHILLONG, Dec 14: Chief minister Conrad K Sangma today said bail to arrested members of the North East Petroleum Mazdoor Union (NEPMU) will be granted only by the court and not by the government.
Sangma said there is no immediate problem with the supply of petroleum products in Meghalaya and that the public need not panic.
He was reacting to the demand of the NEPMU to release its members from jail, failing which they will halt the transportation of any petroleum products to Meghalaya starting Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters, Sangma said, “We have discussed with everybody and the matter is in court. They are requesting for bail but bail is going to be granted only by the Court and not by the government so that process is on.”
“But in that process some of the transporters were not satisfied or concerned people were not satisfied and hence discussions are still going on but just to share with all of you that all efforts are being put from the government side to ensure the public is not at the receiving end and there is no inconvenience to the people,” he added.
Appealing to the public not to panic, the chief minister said, “At this point in time I would request the public not to worry about things as if the situation that comes in then definitely Government of Meghalaya will inform the people accordingly but let us not go with rumours, let us not go with news just to create panic among the people because that is not what is happening as of now.”
“Of course, there is a problem in the sense that the discussion is still on and we are trying to resolve it but there is no immediate problem with the supply of petrol and diesel in the state and I would request there should not be any panic. If there is any situation we will inform you but as of now things are under control,” he assured.
Going back to the incident, the chief minister said that the action taken by the police of Ri Bhoi was based on complaints from the different petrol pumps that tankers that were coming and bringing the oil to the state pilferage was taking place in that and about 10-15 per cent and sometimes 20 per cent of the oil was taken out before it reached the petrol pump and hence a huge loss for the petrol pumps.
“Based on that, a massive operation was conducted by the Ri Bhoi police and they found solid evidence where they were able to pick up some people who were actually involved in all of this and that was then converted into harassment from police which is not true at all as police were only doing its job based on complaints by the petrol pump owners,” he stated. (NNN)

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