TDC declines Central team's appeal to resume plying NH 39
Truck driver kidnapped

Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, August 01 2010: While the transporters and drivers are sticking to their stand not to use NH 39 despite insistence of the Central team which arrived in Imphal yesterday on a two-day visit, driver of an Imphal-bound freight truck has been kidnapped by suspected militants on NH 39 .

An official report said that the driver of the truck (MN05-2119) ferrying iron bar coming towards Imphal was taken into captivity by suspected militants of KRA from a place between Kangpokpi and Chagoubung at about 4.45 pm yesterday.

The driver was kidnapped on the way to Imphal between Changoubung and Kangpokpi on NH 39 in Senapati district, the report said adding that the truck was carrying iron bars belonging to one Sikander of Imphal.

The truck belongs to one Rajendro of Imphal but the identity of the driver could not be confirmed from the source as yet.

The incident of kidnapping of the driver came to light a day after the Transporters' and Drivers' Council (TDC) aired their grievances that they face while plying the Imphal-Dimapur section of the NH 39 due to militants' extortion and kidnapping of drivers and truckers on monetary demands, to the visiting Central team.

In spite of assurance given by the high level Central team to provide security protection and all kinds of safety measures, the TDC has turned down the insistence to resume plying the Imphal-Dimapur section of the NH-39 .

The TDC, the apex body of trucks and inter-state service buses and transporters, refused to ply their freight trucks and inter-state buses along the NH 39 passing through Nagaland demanding payment of compensations for trucks damaged in Nagaland during NSF ban on Manipur vehicles and free from all sorts of extortion to the vehicles travelling on the highway in Nagaland.

"We will not ply on this route (NH-39) until and unless our demands are fulfilled.

By saying this we don't mean that we will stop plying the route forever but we only demand safety of the truckers and highway travelers," vice-president of the TDC, Ibohal said today in a press conference held at his office.

Reiterating the decision of the TDC not to ply state vehicle on the highway, he said that the decision was taken for the sake of future of the people of the state who has been suffering a lot due to the uncertainty on the NH-39 due to frequent imposition of economic blockade on the NH-39 and heavy extortion demands of the underground outfit.

Representatives of the TDC have put down all the grievances facing by the truckers plying the NH-39 for the many years to the high level official team of the Centre comprising joints secretaries of various ministries and top officials of Food Corporation of India (FCI) and Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) in the meeting held yesterday, he said.

The Central team assured to provide the adequate Central security to the vehicles travelling on the NH-39.They assured of providing 15 companies of Central Paramilitary Forces for deploying of on the stretch of the highway with additional security to each and every buses while moving throughout the journey.

"We have rejected it as the assurance is not the lasting solution.

We want a long lasting solution," Haridas reiterated.

On the other hand, official source said that the visiting team agreed to sanction around Rs 32 crore for taking up improvement works of the NH-53 immediately on war footing considering the immediate need of the highway.

The team left Imphal today.

Before leaving Imphal, they also called on with the Governor and informed of the reason behind their visit in the state.