Nearly six thousand people from Baghjan were evacuated into relief camps. Photo from IndianExpress
More than 6,000 people, mostly indigenous Assamese, were forced to leave their homes as oil leak blaze engulfed the extraction facility and the nearby community of State-owned Oil India Limited in Baghjan, Assam North East of India. Two firefighters have died while trying to put out the fire.
Indigenous communities have long protested against the aggressive oil exploration policy of the Indian government for reports of non-consultation and violation of Indigenous land rights. With the oil leak and massive fire, homes, livelihoods, and safety are in danger, on top of the coronavirus crisis.
Environmental groups have also expressed grave concerns as endangered fishes, animals start to die and protected sanctuaries and rainforests are threatened to be destroyed.
We call on everyone to hold the Indian government and big extractivist corporations accountable for all the devastation it brought to the peoples and the environment.
Let’s call for the immediate response to stop the fire, and to deliver adequate assistance to the Assamese people especially during this environmental and health crisis.
Stop environment plunder!
Uphold Indigenous Peoples’ rights!
#LandRightsNotPlunder #AssamFire #BaghjanGasLeak