Troops and police seized control of oil installations in Assam State Sunday and arrested 2,500 pickets who had prevented supplies of crude oil from flowing to the rest of India for four months. Workers at the Narengi installations went on strike when security forces threw barricades around the complex and it was not clear when the oil would start moving again, the Press Trust of India news agency reported.
The blockade by the pickets was costing the country $125 million a month and was part of a student-led campaign by the Assamese. They want nearly 3.5 million people who have entered the state over the past 30 years to be deported. The demonstrators said these people had deprived Assamese of jobs and endangered their cultural identity.