Drivers` union condemns arson attacks on trucks

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IMPHAL Sept 7: All Manipur Road Transport Drivers’ and Motor workers’ Union   has strongly resented against the arson attack on trucks yesterday at Kangpokpi and the consequential hardships suffered by the drivers and the handymen.

Addressing a press conference today at MG Avenue, the union appealed to the citizens to abstain from indulging in such activities as the drivers are not only working for livelihood but also for the service of the public.

Joint secretary,  All Manipur Road Transport Drivers’ and Motor workers’ Union, Anil Meitei stated that the Union in association with Transporters and Drivers Council have been striving to deliver easy available of essential commodities in the state that have become scares with the onslaught of economic blockades as a result of the demand of Sadar Hills Districthood.

Citing the eye witness accounts of the drivers plying on the national highway, he alleged that some 10 unidentified persons armed with sophisticated weapons have been indulging in arson attacks to trucks at different locations shifting places from Keimai to Sembilon than to Barak areas.

Raising the severity of the damages inflicted to the society, the Union during the conference demanded for immediate intervention of the central and state government to safeguards the safety of the truckers from such criminal activities from furthering in the foreseeable future.

Anil said that even though the exact figures of the damages to the trucks since the beginning of economic blockade  could not be ascertained as of now however two trucks bearing the registration nos. AS 25 B 5682 and MN 01 7824 were engaged in transporting food grain and cements to Imphal had been completely set ablazed.

According to the inputs of the drivers, the Union clarified that primarily no supporters of economic blockades were involved in such activities.

In this matter, the Union cautioned the government to initiate a viable stand to counter the hindrances perpetrated on the truckers plying on the highways on regular intervals within a specific schedule, failing which the Union along with the Transporters and Drivers council will decide a resolution within a short notice.

Later the general secretary of the union H. Kulamani Singh during the press conference sharply reacted against the AR personnel that had convoyed truckers yesterday and thereby resulting in sudden violent commotion at Kangpokpi that left couple of trucks along with the transported item into ashes and tar. Accusing the AR of unnecessarily minding other people’s matter, Kulamani resented that the violent consequences could have been averted had the formers acted responsibly. He said that the trucks were escorted into Senapati by the AR, however, on reaching Kangpokpi area the former parties were left on their own, leaving behind in the hands of the agitators who are supporting the economic blockade hence escalated in the violent incident that happened yesterday.

Kulamani disclosed that the Union along with the TDC had been providing necessary requirements including health amenities to the drivers and handymen of the more than 30 trucks that had been stranded for more than a month unable to make entry fearing backlash from the bandh supporters.

On the other side, the general secretary disclosed that during a field survey conducted by the Union were startled to find that against the BRO stated figure of 3000 workforce engaged in the highway construction work, only mere 200 workers were found to be working along the stretch of Imphal Jiribam highway on the refurbishment work at carried out under BRO. elaborating in this issue, Kulamani appealed the central and state government for stern action with immediate effect. 

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