IMPHAL, May 5: Just as the oil tanker drivers ended their hands off the steering wheel agitation against the act of kidnapping and holding captive of an oil tanker driver by cadres of the NNC (F) cades on monetary demand, truck drivers under the All Manipur Petroleum Tankers & Drivers Union have once again launched a similar protest of hands off the steering wheel agitation after CRPF personnel allegedly beat up an oil tanker driver at Khatkhati.
Tankers loaded with LPG Bullet, petrol and diesel numbering around 100 has been left stranded at Khatkhati as a result of which, empty tanker cannot leave Imphal for reloading.
According to reports, the empty tankers coming from Imphal after reloading their tanks with petrol, diesel and LPG at Tinsukia and Numaligarh were made to line-up and go back to Imphal from Khatkhati. The loaded tankers were supposed to be escorted from the place by the CRPF personnel posted at Nagaland till Khuzuma while CRPF personnel posted at Manipur are supposed to escort them from Khuzuma till Matripukhri in Imphal.
The CRPF personnel who were to escort the tankers reached Khatkhati last night at around 10 pm. The tanker drivers were asked to bring in their relevant documents for checking by the CRPF personnel, following which drivers and handymen went to the CRPF personnel who were doing the checking.
The drivers were made to stand in a line for the verification of documents but one driver identified as Shiva of Khatkhati Gautam Basti who had sustained injury in an earlier accident could not stand and he sat down, said the report.
On seeing him sitting, CRPF personnel came up to him and beat him up severely accusing of disrespecting them, the report said.Following the incident, the drivers had an altercation with the CRPF personnel and there was also a little push and pull between the two parties.
Unhappy over the attitude of the CRPF personnel, the drivers has launched a protest of not touching the steering wheel of their respective trucks. The CRPF personnel then asked the drivers to submit a confirmation that they will not touch the steering wheels by signing.
When the number of signatures reached around 13 in number, the CRPF personnel left the spot. Hearing the news, tankers union members from Karbi Anglong, Bokajam and Dimapur also came rushing to the place. Later, an Assistant Commandant of the CRPF came to the place and apologized to the drivers.
However, it is yet not known till the filing of this report whether the stranded loaded tankers at Khatkhati since yesterday which were supposed to leave Khatkhati for Imphal tonight and the empty tankers at Imphal will come or go to unload and reload.