Blockade turns gory, three women killed
Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, August 02 2011:
Three women have been killed in the course of the ongoing economic blockade being imposed by the Sadar Hills Districthood Demand Committee (SHDDC) when the driver of an oil-tanker lost control of his vehicle as it came under a volley of stones and missiles today.
Amidst the tense situation, one goods laden truck was set afire.
Following these violent incidents, SHDDC has called an indefinite general strike in Sadar Hills area with effect from this midnight.
The oil-tanker met with the fatal mishap at about 2 pm near Kanglatongbi Children Home along ImphalDimapur highway.
A police source informed that the ill-fated oil-tanker (NL-07A/4211) was among a convoy of a large number of trucks and oil-tankers heading to Imphal from Mao with CRPF escorts.
The driver lost control as his vehicle came under a volley of stones and it knocked down three women who were walking on the same road before it stopped in front of the children home.
The two women killed in the fatal mishap have been identified as Yaireiphi Lungleng (22) d/o Singlei of Kanglatongbi and Sugamaya Rizal w/o Ram Prasad Rizal of Damdei, Kanglatongbi.
The third woman who succumbed to her injuries at the hospital is yet to be identified.
The driver of the oil-tanker and his assistant also sustained injuries.
Two other goods laden trucks also met with accidents a little distance away.
A truck (AS-25A/7627) carrying medicines collided with another sandladen truck (WB-41E/3524) and rammed into a hardware store on the left side.
The driver of the first truck and his two assistants sustained injuries.
The sand-laden truck fell into a road-side ditch.
Before these incidents, blockade supporters set afire a truck (NL-03T/1189) carrying eatable items at Charhajar Bazar.
Even as fire tenders managed to douse the fire, greater portions of the truck were already ravaged.
At Kangpokpi Bazar too, a goods laden truck skidded and grazed a stationary Bolero jeep.
The truck driver and one woman sitting inside the jeep sustained injuries.
Most of the trucks, though escorted by CRPF personnel, had their windshields smashed before reaching Imphal.
In view of the heightened violent incidents additional CRPF and police personnel have been deployed at Charhajar and Kanglatongbi.
Notably, the SHDDC declared economic blockade on National highways since July 31 midnight till August 7 in pursuit of their demand for upgrading Sadar Hills to a full fledged district.
Meanwhile, the same committee has called an indefinite general strike with effect from this midnight in Sadar Hills area.
Speaking to media persons at Motbung, SHDDC general secretary Tonghen Kipgen alleged that the incumbent Government has a feeling "we are against Manipur and nobody cares about our aspirations" .
"The two people who were killed today were economic blockade supporters.
Today we have sacrificed two precious lives for the common cause of public", he said.
He said that the committee was compelled to call the general strike in view of the unfolding situation.
Asking how many lives the Chief Minister would like to take, Tonghen said that four people have been killed in the course of the movement for upgrading Sadar Hills into a district.
"We are ready to sacrifice more and we would continue to shed our blood", he said.
He also accused Chief Minister O Ibobi of being anti hill people.
Saying that they do not like any ex-gratia or compensation for the deceased women, Tonghen informed that a public meeting would be held at Motbung tomorrow.
He further advised that it would be wise for security forces particularly Assam Rifles not to meddle in the issue.
He also appealed to the transporters not to continue their service in defiance of the blockade call.
The general strike would not have any relaxation for any one or any service except media, he said.
On the other hand, blockade supporters checked all vehicles plying along NH 53 (Imphal-Jiribam road) within Sadar Hills area and pulled down their loads.
Vehicles were checked at New Keithelmanbi, Highbung, K Sinam and S Laijang.
Chairman of the SHDDC's NH 53 sub-committee said that the goods they pulled down today would be returned to the owners/transporters after the blockade.