Mnp economic blockade: goods vehicles attacked

Correspondent IMPHAL, Nov 24 | Publish Date: 11/24/2021 11:49:59 AM IST

Windshield of many vehicles were smashed as suspected economic blockade supporters pelted stones towards goods-laden vehicles proceeding towards Imphal along Imphal-Dimapur section of NH-2 with security escorts on Tuesday night.

Normal movement of goods-laden vehicles on the national highways passing through the hill districts of Manipur were hit owing to an indefinite economic blockade imposed by tribal based student bodies.

All Tribal Students’ Union Manipur (ATSUM), All Naga Students’ Association Manipur (ANSAM), Kuki Students’ Organisation (KSO) and federating units of ATSUM imposed the blockage to protest against non-fulfillment of their demand by the state government.

They have been pressing the state government to summon a special session of the state Assembly to discuss Manipur (Hill Areas) Autonomous District Councils Bill-2021, a new bill to replace the existing ADC bill, recommended by the Hill Areas Committee of state Assembly.

Owing to the blockade that commenced on November 22 last, hundreds of vehicles were stranded at Mao gate and beyond it on the Nagaland side along NH-2.

Around 100 loaded vehicles stranded fearing attacks for violating the blockade were escorted to Imphal by the personnel of the state police commando on Tuesday evening.

The vehicles, mostly goods-laden heavy trucks, were attacked with stones near a bridge at Senapati district headquarters last night.

Windshields of many vehicles were broken in the stoning. However, no injury to the truckers and drivers of the loaded vehicles was reported.

Around 80 vehicles loaded with essential items arrived in Imphal late Tuesday night while around 200 loaded vehicles have also left Mao gate for Imphal with security escorts early Wednesday morning. 

The vehicles escorted by another team of state police commando personnel were heading toward Imphal and no untoward incident was reported till the time of filing this report.

Hundreds of loaded vehicles were stranded along NH-2 at Mao Gate after the tribal student bodies imposed the blockade.

The indefinite blockade also disturbed normal movement of goods vehicles along Imphal-Jiribam section of NH-37 as well as NH-102 (Imphal-Moreh section) since the commencement of the blockade.

The tribal based student bodies went ahead with the indefinite economic blockade on the national highways after no positive response came up despite a 24-hour total shutdown in hill districts on November 20.

On the other hand, Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh had, on Tuesday, told a local TV cable network that the government was trying its best to end the blockade.

He hoped to break the deadlock through talks. “I hope the blockade will be ended soon after talks with the government,” Singh said.

The chief minister had also alleged some political parties were behind the blockade to gain political advantages while claiming that many hill based civil society organizations were against the agitations of the student bodies. At the same time, he added that the blockade was not fully effective.

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