Oil tankers in J&K; go on indefinite strike (Lead)

July 3rd, 2012 - 7:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Akshay Kumar Jammu, July 3 (IANS) The Oil Tankers Association here went on an indefinite strike across Jammu and Kashmir from Tuesday, demanding action against those involved in the suspicious death of a tanker driver in Kashmir Valley.

Officials both in Jammu and Srinagar say that police is investigating the matter.

Akshay Kumar of Sunderbani in Rajouri district had driven a diesel tanker to Srinagar June 21. Some days later, on June 30, his body was found with his throat slit, said association president Anand Sharma.

Akshay was cremated Tuesday.

“The tanker was found in Pulwama, about 35 km from Srinagar, but Akshay was missing,” Sharma told IANS. The owner of the tanker Surinder Singh from Jammu went there to lodge a report with police. “But police was not co-operative at all instead it kept dilly dallying.”

Police officials in Jammu and Srinagar told IANS on condition of anonymity that they “have started the investigations to catch the people behind the incident. Action will be taken against the culprit whosoever he may be”.

Meanwhile, the president of the association alleged that the police instead blamed the owner of playing mischief and being involved in the case.

The owner of the tanker, Surinder Singh, who belongs to Jammu, went to lodge a police report but was instead accused of being involved, he said.

According to Sharma, Akshay’s body was found buried in Qazigund area, about 90 km south of Srinagar June 30.

Surinder Singh and other tanker owners recovered the body and handed it over to Akshay’s family.

The oil tankers have declared indefinite strike across the state from Tuesday “till culprits are not found and strict action taken against them”.

They are also demanding compensation to the family of the killed driver and safety for tanker drivers going to the Kashmir Valley.

There are 1,760 oil tankers in Jammu and Kashmir. Of these, about 1,000 ply daily, carrying petrol, diesel and kerosene to different parts of the state.

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