Sadar Hills explode in flames, trucks burnt
Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, September 06 2011:
Kangpokpi bazar, literally erupted in flames today evening as blockade supporters set on fire three goods trucks while at least 56 people were hurt, 20 of them seriously in retaliatory action by Assam Rifles personnel.
Kangpokpi AC MLA and HAC Chairman Thangminlien Kipgen and Saitu AC MLA, Haokholet rushed to the spot to get a first hand account.
Speaking to The Sangai Express, SHDDC general secretary Tonghen Kipgen said that trouble broke out when the AR troops under the command of CO of 43 AR and the Post Commander of Kangpokpi Anish Kutoth tried to force the entry of 40 loaded trucks.
This led to a confrontation between the troops and the women folk, enforcing the blockade at Kangpokpi and in the ensuing melee, 56 women were injured, 20 seriously, said Kipgen.
According to a mutual understanding reached with the Brigadier AK Narula of 59 Mountain Brigade, it was agreed to give free passage to Army supply trucks, said Tonghen.
However when the convoy of goods laden trucks was verified by the womenfolk, it was found that only 4/5 trucks were actually carrying army supplies, said Tonghen.
Of the 56 injured women, 36 were taken to the Community Health Centre at Kangpokpi while the 20 seriously injured were admitted to Kangpokpi Mission hospital, said the general secretary of SHDDC and added womenfolk not only from Kangpokpi but also the neighbouring villages of Tuyang and Keithelmanbi rushed in to confront the Assam Rifles personnel.
Kipgen said that this has compelled them to convene a meeting tomorrow where the decision to suspend the general strike would be reviewed.
The Sadar Hills Women Union has also convened an emergency meeting tomorrow.
On the other hand a cement laden truck was set ablaze by suspected supporters of the UNC sponsored economic blockade near Keimai last night.
The truck was part of a convoy of 271 loaded trucks travelling from Jiribam to Imphal.
There is one 165th Bn Territorial Army post near the spot where the truck was set afire.
Of the 271 trucks heading for Imphal, 127 were loaded with cement, 23 were petrol tankers, 13 were loaded with fertilizers, eight were diesel tankers and others were loaded with different commodities.
The trucks would halt this night at Awangkhul.