40 trucks damaged during Manipur blockade

IMPHAL, April 21 – Over 40 loaded trucks were damaged by suspected supporters of the economic blockade along the National Highway 39 on Wednesday, according to Manipur police.

However, All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur (ANSAM) claimed that more than 100 vehicles including a passenger bus were damaged by the blockade supporters. Reports have also been received that 15 vehicles were damaged by bandh supporters of Manipur Tribal JAC Against Elections Under Unwanted District Council Act (MTJACAEUUDC) along the NH-53 today.

Supporters pelted stones at the vehicles escorted by the Manipur police towards Imphal between Mao Gate and Senapati, said a police source.

According to ANSAM sources, over 100 goods laden trucks including a passenger bus were damaged by its activists this afternoon along the NH- 39. The agitating students’ body sources said that transporters escorted by security forces personnel headed for Imphal from Mao Gate at around 2 pm today when the blockade supporters attacked the vehicles.

The sources said that the attacks on the moving transporters were carried out in different areas of Senapati district. The attacks were carried out at Mao, Karong and Senapati headquarters.

A total of 389 vehicles out of which 241 were loaded trucks, 35 LPG tankers, 107 oil tankers and six inter-State buses were being escorted from Mao Gate in the Manipur-Nagaland border by the police on Wednesday afternoon.

Our Correspondent adds: Suspension of the inter-district passenger bus and other forms of transportation on the second day of the 48 hour bandh continue to hit normal life in Manipur’s five Hill districts on Wednesday.

Manipur Tribal Joint Action Committee Against Election Under Unwanted District Council Act called the bandh from April 19 midnight in support of the stir against the amendment of the District Council Act in the State.

Though the bandh was total in Chandel, Senapati and Tamenglong district headquarters, it was reportedly partial in Ukhrul and Churachandpur district headquarters. Shops and other business establishments in Ukhrul and Churachandpur reportedly opened in the afternoon, sources added.

Voicing protest against the government’s move to hold district council polls under Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council (Third amendment) Act, 2008, next month, United Naga Council, Manipur, an apex body of Naga frontal organisations had recently called a Chakka bandh followed by All Naga Students Association Manipur (ANSAM)’s economic blockade of the two National Highways NH 39 & 53 since the past one week.

Minister for Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution, Yumkham Irabot informed The Assam Tribune that rationing of fuel has been started in the State. “We will continue rationing of fuel till the blockade concludes”, the Minister said.

According to Indian Oil Corporation sources in Imphal, the present stock position of petrol and diesel is enough meet local requirement for about 12 days as the Chingmeirong depot has around 800 kilolitres of petrol and 2,100 kilolitres of diesel.

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