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Extortion from truckers on NH-39 still on
Correspondent IMPHAL, JUN 30:
Published on 30 Jun. 2010 11:23 PM IST
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Heavy security was deployed on the stretch of NH-39 in Nagaland section to protect highway travelers from extortion from truckers which is being carried out unabated in Dimapur town and Manipur section of the highway.
Despite the decision of the Transporters and Drivers’ Council (TDC) not to ply at the Imphal-Dimapur section of NH-39, some vehicles have been secretly taking the route.
The council had earlier announced that until their demands of checking extortion menace and compensation to the vehicles damaged during ban on Manipur vehicles in Nagaland were fulfilled, they would not ply on the route.
Meanwhile, the movement of the trucks in the highway has been increasing with a total of 97 trucks crossing Mao gate, heading for Imphal on Tuesday.
Drivers taking the route when contacted said that security forces, both central and state, were seen conducting frequent patrolling round the clock on the stretch from Khuzuma to Dimapur and seemed ready to extend help the truckers.
However, no special security measures have been taken up on the stretch of the Mao to Imphal section of the highway and militants have been collecting “goods tax” from the trucks.
Militant outfits operating in the town are also collecting their annual “vehicle tax” in Dimapur town, even raising the tax rate to double from the previous year’s rate. Truckers are paying Rs 6000 to Rs 10,000 to at least two militant outfit.
With regard to the hiking of the tax rate, drivers were told that it was increased with the implementation of the revised six pay of the Central government for the employees of Manipur government.
Meanwhile, speakers in a seminar on “problems and prospect of national highways in Manipur”, organised by the United Committee Manipur at State Guest House on Wednesday, explored the need for highway protection force as the only long term measures to check extortion menace and harassments meted out by anti-social elements on the highways in Manipur particularly on NH-39.
President of the United Committee Manipur, Dilipkumar Yumnamcha recalled incidents of harassing passengers of inter-state buses in Nagaland section and forcible collection of money from vehicles and transporters on the Imphal-Dimapur section of the NH-39.
Stating that the problems on the NH-39 started with the coming up of demand for “Greater Nagaland” by the NSCN (IM).
The seminar called for a collective decision not to ply the National Highway-39 unless, authorities assured security for the truckers and the public.

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