Gun attack injures 2 drivers along NH-37, government blamed for drivers’ insecurity

Imphal: Two drivers were injured and five vehicles were damaged at a location near Tollen village along NH-37 (Imphal-Jiribam road) on Tuesday when armed miscreants suspected to be Kuki militants fired several rounds towards the vehicles heading towards Imphal.

Drivers condemned the life threat while they serve people of Manipur bringing in essential items. They blamed the Centre and state government for failure in making secure environment for the drivers along National Highways.

They said they suspended their services as security personnel deputed for safety of highway transporters were assigned for elections. But as an escort party was arranged this morning the services were resumed.

“More than 100 loaded trucks were heading towards Imphal when the miscreants fired gun shots at Keimai,” a driver said.

“Why there were no ROPs? Why are our lives negected and put at risks? We are serving the people ferrying in food and essential items. The Prime Minister, Home minister and the chief minister regard us as insects,” he added.

One was hit by a bullet on the leg. A gas tanker was leaked. An oil taker was hit by several bullets and leaked, among other damages.

Who will be responsible for this loss and injuries? Will it be left to the drivers? The driver asked.

“Yesterday, heavy security arrangements were made for Amit Shah’s election campaign in Imphal. However the drivers along the just 200 km long highway cannot be protected,” he said.

“We have been stranded for many days. Many problems are with us. We have to remain stranded further. We will launch steering down agitation if the government fails to take a decision,” said another driver.

People in Imphal and other parts of the valley started resorting to panic buying of petrol and diesel queuing up at Petrol pumps.

The CAF and PD department in a press release said that there is sufficient stock of Petrol and Diesel in the state. There will be no shortage of stock of oil.

All Petrol Pumps were directed to open as usual.

The department appeals the general public to purchase only for their daily needs and not to resort to panic buying.

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