One more truck burned on NH 39
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, August 29 2010: A loaded truck stranded at a place between Mao and Tadubi on the NH-39 was set on fire by armed miscreants today.

This is the second truck torched on NH 39 during the extended 25-day economic blockade.

Security has also been beefed up on both the national highways (NH-39 and NH-53), particularly on NH-39, following the acts of arson.

Intensified patrolling by Central as well as State security forces deployed on the highway, are being carried out, official sources said.

Four miscreants, three of them armed with small fireams coming on a four-wheeler light vehicle apprehended the truck bearing registration number NL-07-A-2285 carrying refined wheat flour at about 11.30 am.

The truck was driven by one Ramayan Yadav (25) son of Anup Yadav of Bihar, presently residing in Dimapur.

The arson took place at a place about 4 kilometres away from Mao Gate towards Imphal under Tadubi police station.

The front portion and tarpaulin covering the rear part of the vehicle were damaged.

The police at Tadubi and a fire tender doused the fire and saved the goods loaded in the truck.

Troops of 5 Assam Rifles also assisted in the effort to put the fire under control.

According to the driver, the truck was burnt with petrol poured by the four miscreants.

Before burning the truck, they charged him of violating the economic blockade and asked him to pay Rs one lakh as violation fine.

The truck was stranded there since August 27 owing to a mechanical snag (breaking down of the crown) developed on the way while travelling with the security escort.

The driver also expressed dissatisfaction with the security forces who abandoned him knowing fully well he could be attacked.

With this burning, at least four goods trucks, (including one burnt down yesterday at Senapati district headquarter), have been burnt since the economic blockade imposed by the UNC was extended for another 25 days from August 4 .

In the aftermath of the arson, tightened up security measures have been taken on NH-39.Central and State security forces on both NH-39 and NH- 53 were asked to pull up their socks and to remain alert.

On the other hand, around 100 Imphal bound freight trucks were reportedly stranded at Mao gate beyond the border with Nagaland, at Khuzuma waiting for security escort.

In the meantime, DIG of CRPF, PS Rajorai today, in a statement, clarified that the truck burnt down yesterday near Taphou Kuki village on NH-39 was not part of the empty trucks escorted by the CRPF convoy.

On that day, empty trucks with CRPF escort left Mantripukhri at 5.30 am while the ill-fated truck left Imphal at 10.30 am even though CRPF authority had asked those trucks who could not join the convoy to wait for the next trip.

The statement also suggests all truck drivers and owners to move on NH-39 with CRPF escort only which runs daily between Imphal and Dimapur.

The convoy starts from Mantripukhri with empty vehicles and from the transit camp at Dimapur with loaded vehicles.

"Every vehicle which reports on time is taken under escort of CRPF.

It is responsibility of CRPF to take these vehicles across safely and hand over after arrival at the destination," the statement of the DIG quotes.