Stranded vehicles escorted, 2 burnt
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, July 04: Even as all the goods carriers stuck at Nagaland�s Khuzama police post were escorted to Imphal under heavy security cover, two loaded vehicles trying to cross blockade zones amid convoys of Central forces were set ablaze at different places today.

The good carriers were stranded at near Khuzama check post since June 20 following the indefinite economic blockade imposed on both the National Highways by All Naga Students Association Manipur (Ansam) demanding the revocation of State Government's decision to declare June 18 as State Integrity Day and holiday.

While loaded vehicles numbering around 70 have safely reached Imphal after starting from Khuzama gate in the wee hours today, one truck carrying cement and a potato loaded DI Tata are said to have been burnt by suspected blockade supporters at Makhan Centre and Taphou Kuki village this afternoon.

According to informed source, the cement loaded truck was in the midst of a Central force convoy from Dimapur but had a technical break-down (tyre burst) at Makhan Centre, which is about 13 kilometres away from mao police station.

As the Central forces proceeded leaving behind the civilian truck, suspected blockade supporters swooped down on the stranded vehicle and torched it.

The first incident occurred at around 12.30 pm.

Registration number of the burnt truck is MS 25/C6432 and owned by Haridan Singh of Dimapur and said to be driven by one Hemraj.

In the other act of arson, the DI Tata (MN02/7361) was stopped and torched at near Taphou Kuki village by suspected blockade supporters.

The vehicle was also travelling in similar fashion as the ill-fated Tata truck.

Press sources, disclose of the DI Tata arriving in the midst of an Assam Rifles convoy but the para-military force�s vehicles swerving up the hill of 22nd AR located a few distance from Senapati district headquarters.

The vehicle destroyed in the arson which took place at around 1.20 pm was driven by the owner Kapsanglian Kuki (24) of Ngurte village in Churachandpur.

Observing that Kapsanglian might have mis-perceived the para-military force to travel till Imphal, the source said conveyed of the owner/driver trying to push the pedal to reach safer zones but blockade supporters plugging escape rout and destroying the vehicle as well as the goods.

The potatoes brought from Mao-Maram is said to be handed over to one Premila of Nagamapal.

Police have subsequently retrieved the partially burnt vehicle and goods.

Prior to the incidents 70 vehicles stranded beyond Mao Gate since the blockade came into effect were reportedly brought back to Imphal under a special security arrangement.

A combined State police force comprising of personnel of Manipur Rifles, IRB and commando escorted the vehicles from Khuzama check gate at around 2 am today.

Among the vehicles include four LPG carriers, six oil tankers and the remaining loaded with different variety of consumer items.