PATACHARKUCHI, April 27 � The discovery of a device fitted beneath the Oil India Limited pipeline at Bamun-kuchi village under Patacharkuchi police station recently apparently to pilfer crude oil by unknown miscreants has created panic among the villagers. After receiving information of digging of land in the paddy field the SDPO Bajali, Mani Saikia rushed to the spot and warned the public not to go near the site. He also informed the concerned higher level OIL authority and put the police on alert.
The OIL team reached the site at around 5 pm with the help of the local labourers. The team led by one Ratul Bordoloi, Junior Engineer of the concerned department started digging at the site. One steel pipe of approximately four inch diameter with two valves, one in the bottom attached to the crude oil pipe (14 inch diameter) with concrete casting and another at the top level with the ground surface were recovered. The lower valve was open and the upper valve was closed.
During digging, some jute bags, welding rods, thread sealed taps were also recovered. The team informed that the pipe may have been carrying crude oil but could not confirm it to this correspondent. The villagers said that they were not aware about the incident as heavy vehicular movement took place in the area following road construction work.
Some local people however said that at night a group of people had come to the spot and was doing something. Initially the villagers thought that they were departmental workers. However, suspicion arose at the movement of an oil tanker to the spot. From the incident it becomes clear that the oil theft racket which was active in upper Assam earlier may have now changed their target to lower Assam.