TODAY -

Stones pelted at trucks, one driver hurt
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 16 2023: One driver was hurt and several trucks ferrying essential commodities were damaged when unknown persons pelted stones at the trucks on National Highway-37 yesterday.

The attack on the truckers happened in the presence of the security escorts which were accompanying them for protection, said All Manipur Road Transport Drivers' and Motor Workers' Union, which has warned to launch strike if actions are not taken against Noney police and the escort commander responsible.

Speaking to reporters at the office of the Driver Union at MG Avenue, its general secretary, Maimom Anil said the union has submitted a memorandum seeking measures for safety of the drivers and for appropriate action against Noney police and the escort commander.

Earlier, trucks were not allowed to move on the Highway after 6 pm.

However, 50 trucks moved on the road at around 9.30 pm with security escorts towards Imphal yesterday.

When the trucks with escorts reached Seijang and Sinam village areas at around 11 pm, there were no Road Opening Party (ROP) and persons suspected to be Kukis pelted stones at the trucks, said Anil.

Windshields and side glasses of at least 10 trucks were damaged and one driver identified as Thangjam Sunilkumar from Heibongpokpi Lamkhai was hurt.

The driver union has provided monetary assistance to the injured driver for medical treatment, he said.

Alleging there have been lapses in the security arrangement, Anil said the escorts were unable to protect the truckers when they were attacked yesterday.

Why were the trucks moved at night when there was no ROP on the Highway, asked Anil, demanding action against Noney police and CRPF C-175 company escort commander.

He said the drivers are not happy with the Security Advisor's arrangement for their security and safety on the road.

The truckers have been ferrying essential items on the Imphal-Jiribam road amid the present tension between Meitei and the Kuki communities risking their lives.

On July 14, persons suspected to be Kukis took photographs of number plates of trucks driven by Meitei drivers.

This has caused concern and fear among the drivers, Anil said.

He further alleged that the escorts remained mute spectators when illegal taxes were collected from the drivers.

If actions are not taken against the Noney police and the escort commander, the drivers may launch hands-off steering wheel strike, he said.

He also stressed that the Imphal-Jiribam road lacks timely inspection and maintenance from the NHIDCL.

The road is in such a bad condition that around 500 trucks that left Imphal on July 12 have not reached Jiribam yet, he said.


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