Trucks escorted, stoned, many more stranded
Source: The Sangai Express / Newmai News Network

Imphal, April 19 2010: At least 96 vehicles including inter-State passenger buses were being escorted towards Imphal from Mao Gate and Nagaland today while more than 170 vehicles are still stranded at Khazuma in Nagaland along National Highway (NH) 39 and another 40 goods laden trucks are still stranded at Jiri along NH-53, according to official sources.

Around nine goods laden vehicles were damaged when blockade supporters rained stones on them an a spot in between Chakhamai and Makhan on NH-39 at about 3.30 pm.

There is no report of any casualty in incident.

The vehicles were stranded along the National Highways due to All Naga Students' Association Manipur (ANSAM) ongoing intensified blockade in the State against the Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council (3rd Amendment) Act, 2008 .

The 96 vehicles including 84 goods loaded trucks, nine DI Tatas and three inter-State passenger buses stranded since yesterday were escorted by the Manipur Rifles personnel and left Mao Gate at about 2.40 in the afternoon.

However, around 170 goods carriers are still stranded at Khuzuma as the capacities to escort all the vehicles stranded along the NH-39 could not be accommodated at one go, added the police source.

In the meant time, over 40 goods laden trucks are stranded at Jiri along the NH-53 due to ANSAM's total blockade and as there is no escort team, according to a reliable source.

The reliable source also added that the escort team is basically meant for oil tankers.

It said that when the team could not locate or find any oil tanker, they (MR personnel) brought escorts along with them the stranded vehicles today.

Meanwhile, the Manipur Drivers' Welfare Association on Monday appealed the agitating Naga students' body to relax the blockade for some days on humanitarian ground, saying some of the drivers are sick while some of the truckers run out of financial resources as they had been stranded along the national highways for days together.

On the other hand, the Manipur Tribal Joint Action Committee Against Election Under Unwanted District Council Act has called 48hours hill districts bandh starting from April 19 midnight against the same Act.