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Truckers strike enters 2nd day

Nagaland bound trucks being stranded at Bokajan, Assam as the indefinite truckers’ strike entered the second day, Sunday. (NP)
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, JUN 21 (NPN):
Published on 22 Jun. 2009 12:57 AM IST
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More than 150 goods laden trucks bound for Nagaland remain stranded at Bokajan town area, Assam due to the indefinite strike called by the All Assam Truck Owners’, Drivers’ and Handymen Association and also supported by the Bokajan Truckers’ Union. The Chakka Jam called in protest against illegal and excessive taxation, extortion and assault on truck drivers and handymen entered the second day Sunday. However, trucks bound for Nagaland carrying goods like gas, petrol and perishable commodities like fish, milk, vegetables etc were allowed to proceed to Nagaland while other trucks loaded with non-perishable goods were detained. Talking to this Reporter, a Bokajan Truckers’ Union official said the truckers had decided to go for an indefinite strike in protest against the excessive and illegal taxations and extortion being imposed by various unions and underground groups, including kidnapping of truck drivers and handymen for ransom by various underground groups. A truck driver said ‘taxes’ had to be paid at more then ten gates on entering Dimapur. One of the Union officials also said that even underground groups based in Manipur and Assam imposed illegal taxes in Nagaland. When asked if any steps had been initiated by the district administration to solve the crisis, a union official said both the district administrations of Dimapur and Diphu had so far not approached them for redressing their grievances. Meanwhile, another driver also told the Reporter that they had no idea about the strike but were prevented from entering Nagaland by the striking unions. A truck driver coming from outside Assam was worried about a prolonged impasse as they were running short of money and faced the bleak prospect of being stranded for more days. Clearly the situation appears to be worsening unless there is some solution. When contacted, a trader in Dimapur told this Reporter that food stocks in Dimapur would last for two more weeks at the most.

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