Many drivers hurt, about 20 trucks damaged
Blockade supporters threatened to kill some drivers; fled on seeing SF coming

Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, May 23 2010: Many truck drivers sustained serious injuries and wind-shield glasses and headlights of about 20 goods-laden trucks were smashed when some blockade supporters rained stones and boulders on the convoy of trucks, oil tankers and gas bullet tankers early morning today on NH-53 near Noney in Tamenglong district, about 45 km from Imphal.

"Many of our colleagues were hurt", a driver who escaped unhurt said.

The driver of a truck (MN01-5656) carrying sugar, Kh Jiten (34) of Kanto village in Imphal West district sustained serious injuries on his head as a stone hit him.

A truck of which wind-shield glasses had been broken in stones attack near Noney

As he was unable to drive the truck any further, his assistance N Tomba took the wheels upto Khumbong village, about 15 km west of Imphal.

Driver Jiten was admitted to RIMS hospital here for treatment on reaching Imphal.

The wind-shield glasses of more than 20 trucks were broken during the attack.

The trucks stayed behind in Barak areas yesterday when one of the vehicles broke down.

Some more trucks which were returning from Silchar joined those halting in the area.

After spending a few hours of the night, 35 oil tankers, 10 gas bullet tankers and 100 trucks carrying assorted essential commodities left the place for Imphal at about 2.30 am on the NH-53 .

As the convoy was about to reach Noney around 4 am, some miscreants started raining stones and boulders on the trucks in Langkhong area.

Some other drivers also sustained injuries during the attack.

One of the drivers told reporters that he saw another driver who got injured on his forehead lying on the roadside.

He could not say whether the injured driver was taken away by some troops of Assam Rifles.

The drivers said, the blockade supporters, some of whom were holding small hand guns, caught drivers of about five trucks, and threatened them that they would be taken down to the gorge and kill them there.

However, at that moment some vehicles of Assam Rifles were seen coming toward that area.

Then the miscreant fled.

A team of office bearers of All Manipur Truck Drivers' Welfare Association led by its Secretary, Tomba received the trucks and drivers at Khumbong bazar.

The incident occurred a day after Manipur Chief Minister explained about area domination by the security forces along the route for smooth flow of trucks.

On hearing the news, Consumer Affairs and Food and Public Distribution Minister Yumkham Irabot, who was accorded a hero's welcome yesterday evening, came to Khumbong bazar to take stock of the situation.

Interacting with reporters, he said that he would apprise the Central government about the incident for necessary action.

He assured that he would extend help to the drivers whose trucks had been damaged in the attack at Noney.