TODAY -
Buses stranded at Moreh due to UGs' extortion demand
Source: Hueiyen News Service

Imphal, March 30 2009: Misfortune once again befell the passenger buses plying the Imphal-Moreh road today as they were forced to suspend their services and not to leave the border town, Moreh without paying monetary demands imposed by an underground outfit.

The bus service, mention may be made here, was resumed today after remaining suspended for nearly one month following a diktat to stop services by another underground outfit unless the monetary demand served by it in the form of 'tax' payable on them is not met by the bus owners.

Buses reaching the border town with passengers this morning remained stranded near the Moreh Forest gate on the Indo-Myanmar section of the NH-39 as they were threatened of dire consequences if they happened to leave the town without paying the "tax" imposed on them by a particular outfit actively operating in the border town, an official report received here said.

The report said that 10 buses coming from the town parking area carrying passengers were force-stranded near the Forest Gate at the starting point of the road to Imphal due to fear of any untoward incidents on their way as cadres of the particular underground group asked them to pay the 'tax' demanded by them. Only around 20 buses are currently in service along this route as most of the buses had stop their operation following heavy and uncountable demands put on them by various underground outfits in the last few years.

Maximum number of buses reached the town as they resumed the service only today after becoming into a negotiating table to the monetary demand served by the other outfit.

The particular underground group coming with the fresh demand reportedly asking the passenger bus operators to pay Rs.1500 per bus carrying commercial goods items while Rs 800 from those carrying only the passengers per trip, according to a source closed to the drivers stranding there at Moreh.

A bus can ply only one to and fro trip in a day on this 109 km long Imphal-Moreh section of the highway which many people are running small time business and earning livelihood taking advantage of the border trade between Myanmar and India.

The outfit is also pressing the taxi service Tata Sumo vehicles to pay Rs 3000 per trip, the source added.

Both hills and valley based underground groups are imposing various kinds of illegal taxes on the passenger service vehicles of any kinds and other commercial vehicles.

It has been a regular experience for the vehicles operators along this Indo-Myanmar section of the NH-39 to deal with extortion demands of the underground elements which greatly affected to the travelers most importantly small time businessmen on this route.


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