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Assam truckers warn
Published on 28 Nov. 2009 1:12 AM IST
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Expressing serious concern over forced collections at check gates by government staff and extortion by underground groups, the Hill Areas Truck Owners Association (HATOA) based at Mariani, Jorhat (Assam) have warned that it would be compelled to resort to agitational programme by hiking fares and stop plying trucks to Nagaland unless all these are stopped forthwith. Urging the government and the people of Nagaland to heed to its urgent appeal, HATOA in a faxed document containing extortion and other money receipts, said truck drivers were extorted by Naga underground groups such as NSCN(K),Chang Regiment(K), Federal Army, Federal Chang Regiment and Unification at Tuensang, Chari and Longkhim etc. It said even police, forest and excise personnel at the check gates had started illegal collections, while the Nagaland state authorities chose to remain mute witnesses. Reminding that it had stopped all trucks entering Nagaland during June due to the above incidents, HATOA said the DC Mokokchung district C.M.Tsanglao had assured it to stop all such activities and faxed the message to all DCs signed by the ADC and chief secretary through the DC’s office on July 7. However, five months later, the activities continue while drivers and handymen were assaulted in Zunheboto,Tuensang and Longkhim, it said.

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