IMPHAL, Dec 13: Two trucks were fired upon at two different places injuring one of the drivers along Imphal-Jiribam highway amidst the indefinite economic blockade being imposed by the United Naga Council (UNC) on National Highways connected to and from Imphal. The injured driver has been identified as Khulem Ibomcha (44) of Khumbong Khaidem Awang Leikai. He was hit by a bullet on the arm and he was later admitted at RIMS.
He said that several rounds of bullets were fired toward the driver’s seat of his truck when he reached a place about 6 Kms away from Awangkhul toward Imphal at around 10.30 pm yesterday. Many of the bullets exited through the driver’s cabin. Strongly condemning the gun violence perpetrated upon truck drivers, a large number of people imposed counter economic blockade at Khumbong Bazar. The protesters pulled down edible items from vehicles heading toward hill districts.
The situation was somehow brought under control with the arrival of Imphal West Addl SP S Ibomcha. Two rounds of bullets were also fired at another truck heading towards Imphal from Jiribam near Shejang village under Sapormeina police station.
Although the driver identified as Anas Khan (23) of Lilong Nungei escaped unscathed, handyman Sala Rahman sustained minor injuries on his hand and the front portion of the truck suffered some damages.
Anas Khan said that he went to the Shejang camp of 86 Bn CRPF to inform about the attack but no one came out. Then he went to the nearby IRB camp but they too paid little attention to him.
Later, a team of the All Manipur Road Transport Drivers and Motor Workers Union visited the spot where the truck was attacked. The union’s general secretary Maimom Anil said that Shejang is notorious for arson, assaults and robbery.
Adequate strength of security forces must be deployed at Shejang, Anil demanded. He also decried the deliberate life attempt on innocent drivers. He further appealed to all blockade sponsors not to target drivers. On the other hand, some of the people who were imposing counter economic blockade at Khumbong set ablaze a passenger carrier Tata Sumo jeep at around 4.45 pm. The jeep was set ablaze between Khumbong and Ngairangbam and it was destroyed irretrievably.
Meanwhile, the Imphal West District Magistrate has issued prohibitory order under Section 144 CrPC whereby assembly of five or more persons have been prohibited in and around Khumbong.
Source: The Sangai Express