IMPHAL, Sept 10: Over thousands of essential commodities carrier trucks bound for Jiribam today remained stranded along the National Highway No. 37 as the truckers refused to ply along the route due to lack of adequate security.
The incident comes barely a day after eight goods laden trucks were set ablaze by the blockade supporters in the wake of clarion call made by Sadar Hills Districthood Demand Committee (SHDDC) to its supporters to arm themselves.
Speaking to media persons today, general secretary of All Manipur Transport Motor Workers and Driver’s union, H Kulamani stated that the security provided by the state government to the transporters is inadequate.
He said despite the fact that over thousand of vehicles would be plying along the highly volatile route amidst blockades; the government is providing security capable of escorting only 200 to 300 vehicles.
Kulamani further informed that the truckers will not take the risk to ply along the highway until and unless adequate security measures are provided to them.
In the meantime, the aggrieved transporters blocked the highway at New Keithelmanbi, on NH-37 as a mark of protest against government’s failure to provide adequate security.
The protest disrupted normal traffic for about an hour. Later normal flow of traffic was resumed after the transporter’s body decided suspends its service for the day.
On the other hand, the Sadar hill district demand committee (SHDDC) has strongly condemned the highhandedness of 43 Assam Rifles which provoked the blockade supporters to set ablaze eight good laden trucks last night at Keithelmanbi.
The SHDDC today clarified that a convoy 43 escorted 12 good laden trucks which were later intercepted by group of women blockade supporter at Keithelmanbi area around 5:30 pm and later burn down after a brief confrontation late at night.
Of the 12 trucks three trucks on genuine army duty was scot-free, said the committee. It further alleged that trucks burnt were using fake certificate issued by assistant commandant/deputy commandant, officer commanding, Assam rifles, transit camp and asserted that the genuine supply certificate should be issued by the Army supply corps (ASP).
The committee also alleged that the AR personnel launched indiscriminate rampage against the protestors injuring 40 protestors of which 6 were seriously injured besides inflicting damage to household properties, private vehicles and Keithelmanbi Centre Baptist Church.
The damage vehicles includes an ambulance bearing number MN1A-1360, an auto used for publicity by the committee members bearing number MN03A-1953 and a pick up truck NL04A-9726.
The trucks set ablaze were carrying fish, oinion, potatoes and other grocery items. The registration numbers of the trucks are NL07A-3664, MNO4A-5936, NL01D-3251, MN01-6541, NL08A-0446, NL016-6087, AS03/AC-1626 and MN33C-0527.