TODAY -

Drivers condemn arson, unresponsive SFs
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, June 20 2024: The Manipur Drivers' Association (MDA) has vehemently condemned the act of burning trucks by Kuki militants on National Highways as well as the inaction of security forces and the State Government who have been watching all these unlawful activities silently.

Speaking to media persons at their Kwakeithel office today, MDA general secretary Sanjoy Kshetrimayum said that drivers and transporters are being continuously harassed and tortured on both NH 37 (Imphal-Jiribam highway) and NH-2 (Imphal-Dimapur highway) since a long time back.

In one such recent incident, one truck was set ablaze by armed Kukis near T Khullen, just one or two Km(s) away from Kangpokpi Bazar on NH-2 in between 11.30 pm and 12 pm on Wednesday.

The truck belonged to one Md Rafizuddin of Kwakta.

Highlighting such criminal activities and harassment of drivers/transporters on the National Highways, the MDA had approached the Government repeatedly to place strong security measures on the National Highways but to no avail, Sanjoy decried.

He added that they have been urging the Government to provide security escorts to the vehicles plying on NH-37 and NH-2, and also to arrange adequate ROPs.

The Government of India was also requested several times to deploy highway protection force on NH-37 and NH-2 .

But neither the State Government nor the Centre has done anything to ensure security of drivers and free movement of vehicles on the highways.

As a result, armed Kukis chased a truck, threatened the driver and set the truck ablaze last night, he said.

On April 16, 2024, Kuki militants attacked a convoy of trucks and inflicted injuries to two drivers apart from causing substantial damages to four oil tankers and one LPG bullet, Sanjoy recalled.

Before this incident, two buses transporting CRPF personnel were stopped by Kuki militants and burnt down after the CRPF personnel were asked to get down on the pretext that the two buses belonged to Meiteis.

A similar incident took place on June 18 at Kangpokpi where a bus transporting CRPF personnel was set ablaze by armed Kukis after asking the CRPF personnel to deboard, he said.

He then questioned the silence and inaction of the CRPF personnel when the buses in which they were travelling were set ablaze right in front of their eyes.

During a meeting held on April 23 with truck owners, oil tanker owners and drivers, Chief Secretary Vineet Joshi reportedly stated that the security personnel escorting trucks have been authorised to shoot back if anyone disturbs movement of trucks on National Highways.

However, security escorts have been just watching silently when trucks and other vehicles have been fired upon and set ablaze right in front of their eyes, Sanjoy decried.

It is rather unfortunate that the State Government has been hoodwinking the people while the security escorts are not given any power, he continued.

He then urged the Government to give adequate compensation to the owner of the bus which was set ablaze near Kangpokpi Bazar last night.

He also urged the State Government to take up effective security measures so as to avoid similar incidents in the future and ensure security of drivers/transporters on the two National Highways.


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