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Extortion on NH-39 on the rise
Correspondent IMPHAL, APR 30:
Published on 1 May. 2009 12:26 AM IST
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The felonious act of extorting money from vehicles plying along the Imphal-Dimapur section of the NH-39 are on the rise again as rebels of different outfits operating actively on the stretch are currently engaging in collection of “tax’ from the truckers. Apart from the rebels even police and state security forces deployed along the stretch are also collecting money from the truckers even though the amount is meager compared to that collected by the miscreants in the name of different rebel groups, a driver stated when contacted by this correspondent. Independent reports received by this correspondent here said that miscreants have been collecting money from truckers at separate points from Motbung to Taphou under Kangpokpi police station and at Karong, Maram and Tadubi area under Senapati police station of Senpati district. Militants claiming to be from KNF and KRU are collecting money ranging from Rs 5000 to Rs 50,000 from the truckers ferrying commercial goods. They have even demanded Rs 1 lakh from the goods owners and Rs 5000 from vehicle owners as annual “tax” payable to the outfits, stated the drivers. To get the monetary demand, rebels detain the handyman or co-driver of the trucks and release them after getting the money. Activists of the NSCN (IM) and a faction of the outfit are also currently collecting “annual tax” from the truckers at separate points located between Karong and Tadubi and sometimes at Maram area of the highway, the drivers reported. They are collecting Rs 8000 per truck including Rs 3000 in addition to their rate of “tax” payable annually to the outfits (Rs 5000) as late fine stating that the truckers should pay the tax before April of every year. Commercial vehicles plying on the highways passing through the state have been facing extortion in various forms by the rebel outfits and it has been observed that prices of all kinds of goods items importing to the state have increased because of these extortion menace. The state government has been planning to deploy police commandos on the highways till the completion of the rail-line upto Imphal which is targeted within 2012 or 2015, the source maintained to curb the extortion carried out by the militant outfits. Government analysis reports stated that undergrounds, mostly the NSCN(IM) have been collecting illegal taxes at Dimapur from all goods ferrying vehicles, passenger buses and taxis from Manipur. To deal effectively with these menaces, Manipur government is also planning to set up a Special team under the Manipur police department which will have its branches outside the state and work in co-ordination with the police of the other states.

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