Armed blockade supporters burn down 6 trucks on NH 37
Medicines worth ' 2.3 crore burnt, MCDA demands compensation within five days
Source: Hueiyen News Service
Imphal, September 16 2011:
Contrary of its assurance of free passage for Life Saving Drugs and other medicines, armed blockade supporters of UNC today, torched down six goods laden trucks including two trucks which were carrying medicines at Nungkao area under Nungba Police Station.
Medicines worth Rs 2.3 crore have been burnt down in the arson act.
The incident occurred when around 840 goods laden trucks left Jiribam for Imphal under tight security escort and ROP of BSF, CRPF, Assam Rifles, IRB, Commandos and women policemen along the NH 37.The ill fated trucks had lagged behind some 100 trucks at Nungkao area and a little ahead of the column behind them.
Taking advantages of the muddy road and lack of adequate security, the armed blockade supporters who were hiding there already, emerged and started burning the trucks by pouring petrol and throwing in cocktail bombs inside the trucks.
Out of the six trucks, two were ferrying medicines while the other four were ferrying cements.
On hearing the news, a large column of Commandos and IRBs from Jiribam PS rushed at the spot and dispersed the blockade supporters with some blank fires.
Bandh supporters also retaliated with some blank fires and fled the scene.
The police team cordoned the surrounding villages and launched a massive search operation but no report of detaining suspects has been reported so far.
A driver called Brojen was injured in the incident when a LPG cylinder which he was carrying for cooking food on the route exploded.
He was rushed to the nearest health centre.
With the burnt trucks blocking the highway, most of the goods laden trucks which came behind the burning trucks have headed for Jiribam.
It may be mentioned that UNC had decided to give free passage to trucks carrying Life Saving Drugs and other medicines.
Meanwhile, the Manipur Chemists and Druggist Association (MCDA) strongly condemned the burning of two trucks carrying medicines by blockade supporters of UNC today.
Dr Kh Ratankumar, General Secretary, MCDA told reporters that medicines worth Rs 2.3 crore have been destroyed in the arson act.
While blaming the state government for not providing adequate security escort, he demanded immediate compensation within five days.
If the government failed to compensate within five days, MCDA will stop ferrying medicines and shut down stockiest in Imphal.
Ratankumar further said that medicines in hill districts are supplied from Imphal after they are brought in by the trucks.
It was only yesterday that a truck of medicines left for Senapati district.
In such situation, blockade supporters should spare those trucks carrying medicines on humanity ground.
While alleging the government for their lack of commitment in providing security to the trucks, Ratankumar said that the state government is utilizing its large security forces in VIP escort and checking illegal parking in Khwairamban Keithel only.
If all the security forces are asked to stand along the highway, no one can burn the trucks, he asserted adding that more than 30 trucks carrying medicines are still stranded along the NH 37 .