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IOC Div Manager Abducted, ROs Remain Shut

Indian Oil Petrol Pump (File Photo). Image Credit: Businessworld

IMPHAL, Jan 22: Senior Divisional (Retail Sales) Manager of the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) Divisional Sales Office Imphal KI Singh has been abducted by suspected activists of the People’s Support Group (PSG) in connection with a monetary demand of Rs one crore served to the IOC.

A reliable source informed that IOC Divisional Manager Khwairakpam Ibobi Singh (56), better known as KI Singh of Awang Sekmai Bazar was abducted on his way home from Chingmeirong oil depot last night.

It is suspected that KI Singh was abducted between Chingmeirong and Khonghampat.

It was learnt that the PSG was behind the abduction when a man who identified himself as activist of the group informed about the abduction to family members of KI Singh through telephone. The PSG activist also explained that KI Singh was abducted in connection with a monetary demand of Rs one crore served to the IOC.

Subsequently, the message was conveyed to IOC officials as well as transporters.

Meanwhile, KI Singh’s car (white colored Maruti Swift bearing registration number MN-01W/1907) has been recovered from Sapermeina in Senapati district at about 10 am today.

Subsequent upon discovery of the car, security forces conducted search operations in the surrounding areas of Sapermeina but no lead could be established regarding the whereabouts of the abducted IOC officer.

On the other hand, denouncing the abduction of Divisional Manager KI Singh, IOC staff, oil pump operators, petroleum product transporters have decided to close the IOC office, oil pumps under IOC and also to suspend transportation of petroleum products.

A decision to this effect was adopted during a joint meeting of IOC staff, oil pump representatives, petroleum transporters and other relevant groups held today.

Talking to The Sangai Express, the secretary of All Manipur Petroleum Products Transporters’ Association, Tamphayai has decried the act of abducting officials for ransom.

He asserted that abduction of KI Singh for a ransom of Rs one crore is irrational. He also appealed for unconditional release of KI Singh.

He said that a protest demonstration would be staged tomorrow at Chingmeirong in front of the IOC depot.

Until Divisional Sales Manager KI Singh is released without any condition, oil pumps would remain closed and transportation of petroleum products would remain suspended.

In protest against the abduction of KI Singh, oil pumps have closed down since this afternoon.

On learning about the abduction of KI Singh, a team of IOC officials led by the General Manager and Deputy General Manager of the Guwahati based North Eastern Integrated State Office arrived at Imphal this afternoon.

The team held a meeting with officials of the Imphal Divisional Sales Office, depot officials and representatives of retail fuel outlets.

Noting that the monetary demand was served to the IOC, the officials stated that they would make all efforts to secure safe release of KI Singh.

They also appealed to all concerned to withdraw the decision of closing down oil pumps and suspending transportation of fuel oils in the interest of the public.

On the other hand, as there is a strong suspicion that the PSG is a group supported by NSCN-IM, a correspondence was made with top leaders of NSCN-IM to confirm the abduction of KI Singh and also to secure his release. But the NSCN-IM denied any connection with PSG and stated that the PSG was unknown to them.

Notably, LPG bullet tankers have already suspended their service in protest against the firing attack on bullet tankers and abduction of two drivers and one helper by the armed outfit KPLF from near Golaghat, Assam on January 16.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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