Two trucks burnt on NH-53, truckers hurt in stone pelting on NH-39

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Imphal, Aug 19: The impact of resumption of an economic blockade along the existing highways of the state including NH-39 and 53 by the United Naga Council (UNC) and All Naga Students Association Manipur, (ANSAM) from August 4 in the aftermath of the state government not fulfilling their demands has started affecting normal life in the state.

The demands of the Naga bodies include withdrawal of the arrest warrant issued by the state government to the leaders of the UNC and ANSAM, conduct of Judicial Enquiry in connection with the killing of two Naga students during riots at Mao recently, and making null and void the functions of ADCs in the hills districts of the state even after the holding of the elections to the ADCs in various hill districts of the state.

After there was a short break in the earlier economic blockade which went on for more than two months, the blockade has resumed from August 4 this month.
In the meantime, despite announcing the blockade along the National Highway-39 and 53 many transport bodies have been plying along these routes after an assurance given by the state government to provide adequate security.

It was unfortunate for the truckers along the National Highway-53 that several trucks from Jiribam proceeded towards Imphal without any escorts, as a result of which the truckers carrying essential commodities from godowns in Jiribam faced attacks from unidentified persons on the way to Imphal yesterday evening. Some unidentified gunmen suspected to be supporters of the blockade burned down two goods laden trucks from Jiribam yesterday evening around 8pm in between Noneh and Tupul village under Noneh police station in Tamenglong district.
Apart from this, the suspected supporters of the blockade also damaged several windscreens of the trucks proceeding from Mao gate this morning at Maram and Senapati areas this afternoon resulting in injuries to two truck drivers and one handyman.

According to an official source, around 104 goods laden vehicles which includes 60 goods trucks, 10 DI and five 407 trucks carrying different goods items started crossing the Mao gate with adequate security escorts from the state security forces and CRPF but were attacked by suspected blockade supporters from Mao gate despite presence of heavy security accompaniments.

The attack on the transporters intensified when the tail of the good carrier vehicles started crossing Maram and Senapati district headquarter, as a result of which two non-local truck drivers and one handyman reportedly sustained minor injuries.

However, all the goods vehicles were escorted from Mao gate and reached Imphal this evening around 5 pm without further problems, the source added.

Meanwhile, declaring that the visible improvement in the condition of the National Highway-53 has resulted in the non stranding of vehicles along the highway, the Transporters’ and Drivers’ Council has appealed to the state government to post enough security along the National Highway-53 so as to enable the drivers and truckers to travel along the highway without fear.

A release of the drivers’ council has also stated that around 50 trucks which are meant for transportation of rice from the FCI godown at Jiribam and are loaded with boulders for the maintenance of the highway will be leaving Imphal tomorrow. The said trucks will be leaving along with security escorts and as such the council has appealed to drivers and truckers to come forward.

It has further stated that the vehicles which had left Imphal along NH-53 for transportation of oil on August 12 have already reached Imphal yesterday.

It has also warned those vehicles who are still plying on NH-39 and have been left stranded near Kohima due to the recent landslide, not to try and return through NH-53 as the council would not bear the thought of using NH-53 as a spare tyre, added the release.

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