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6 Manipur trucks torched

(L) One of the trucks torched by miscreants. (NP) Naga women staging a sit-in protest at Mao Town, Tuesday.
Correspondent KHUZAMA, MAY 4 (NPN)
Published on 5 May. 2010 12:58 AM IST
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Six goods- laden Imphal bound trucks were set ablaze with four completely destroyed and two others partially damaged between Viswema and Khuzama on the NH-39 during the wee hours on Tuesday.
Around 200 Imphal bound trucks were stranded on the road following the prevailing blockade imposed by joint force of Manipur Police, Commandos, IRB, Manipur Rifles and Central Paramilitary Forces at the inter-state border and coupled with the ANSAM sponsored economic blockade.
Taking advantage of the situation when truck drivers tried to start the trucks to flee, leading to traffic congestions, miscreants hurled petrol bombs thereby setting fire to six trucks. Five were either completely or badly damaged while one was left with minor damage.
Police and fire services on receiving information rushed to the spot but were blocked by the heavy traffic congestion when several trucks tried to escape.
However, there was no report of any casualty or injury in the incident so far. Later, fire tenders doused fire from burning trucks but till Tuesday afternoon smoke and fire from burning trucks were seen even as owners tried to salvage whatever they could.
A case was registered with Khuzama police station and investigation was on.
No arrest was made as identities of culprits could not be ascertained.
Imphal Correspondent adds:
Six ill-fated trucks (NL01-7A-1408, MN01-6444, MN01-5615, MN04-1266, MN04A-4099 and MN03T-0014), parked on the stretch of NH-39 between Soma and Khuzuma in Nagaland were set on fire by miscreants by pouring petrol, who reportedly came in a Maruti van. Except the truck NL01-1408, others trucks were from Manipur.
The truck with Nagaland registration no. NL01-7A-1408 loaded with cement belonged to one Nayar Choudury of Dimapur Purana Bazar.
Eyewitness said that some of miscreants had small arms in their hands, and that they threatened the drivers before burning down the vehicles. The driver of a burnt truck was reportedly beaten up.

Pusa appeals for calm
Meanwhile, Nagaland MLA of the area and former NPCC president K.V. Pusa has appealed for mutual understanding and to avoid “confrontationist attitude” by all parties at this crucial juncture.
Pusa, who visited the attack site Tuesday, called for peaceful resolution of the issue and not to resort to conflict that could be detrimental to society.
He said people’s yearning for peace has become tremendous and that no one should try to vitiate the situation.
Pusa also visited the Khuzama gate and interacted with police and administrative officers. He also conveyed sympathy to the owners of the vehicles.
Meanwhile, the village council of Viswema has flayed the burning of trucks by unidentified miscreants.
Disclaiming last night’s incident, the council urged the authorities to bring the culprits to book. On the other hand, the council also protested against the sealing of borders by the Manipur government.
AYO, ASU condemn
Acting upon reports that some goods laden trucks bound for Manipur have been burned down along NH-31 Viswema and Khuzama on May 3 at around 11pm by unknown miscreants, the Angami Youth Organization (AYO) conducted a spot verification.
AYO condemned the incident and affirmed that it will strive to bring the culprits to book and work towards peaceful coexistence in its jurisdiction.
AYO also expressed concern over Manipur commandos restricting public leaders to enter Mao Gate and said such attitude may invite unwanted situation among the public.
Meanwhile, the Angami Students’ Union (ASU) has also condemned the Manipur government for hampering free flow of vehicles along the national highway by preventing Nagaland registered vehicles to proceed towards Mao Gate while Manipur registered vehicles were allowed passage.
The ASU described the incident where few Manipur bound goods laden trucks were burned down between Viswema village and Khuzama gate as a serious issue and condemned such criminal activities in its territory and further appealed to truck owners/drivers to remove their vehicles from the area in order to avoid such incidents.

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