Militants attack tanker convoy, drivers lodge protest

IMPHAL, Apr 18: Militants attacked a convoy of 47 oil tankers and LPG bullet tankers escorted by a team of CRPF and two oil tankers were damaged.
Subsequent upon the attack, oil tanker drivers have launched a cease work strike.
Even as a meeting was held between transporters and CAF&PD Minister Karam Shyam later today regarding the attack and the subsequent cease work strike, the two sides could not strike any agreement.
It is reported that another round of meeting would be held tomorrow.
The militants attacked the convoy of loaded LPG tankers and oil tankers with firearms which was heading toward Imphal between Kangpokpi and Changoubung at around 5.45 am today, said sources.
An oil tanker was hit by a bullet and it exited leading to leakage of petrol. The hole was somehow patched using soap and the tanker proceeded toward Imphal. Another oil tanker fully loaded with diesel was also damaged as it was hit by a bullet.
Well placed sources informed that a new group of armed militants have been operating in villages located between Kangpokpi and Changoubung since sometime back.
However, which group of militants was behind today’s attack upon the convoy of oil tankers and LPG bullet tankers could not be confirmed so far.
Even though police carried out search operations in suspected villages, there has been no report of any arrest.
Taking strong exception to the attack, oil tanker drivers have launched cease work strike from today apart from staging a sit-in-protest at the IOC’s Malom depot.
On account of the drivers’ protest demonstration, normal operation of the depot was suspended today as a result of which no fuel was issued to retail outlets.
There were such incidents of attacks against oil tankers and LPG bullet tankers in the past too, decried some drivers.
One oil tanker driver sustained serious injuries during the last spell of economic blockade and he is now crippled.
Even though the Government assured to give a suitable job, the same assurance has not been fulfilled till date.
Moreover, a rough estimate of Rs 20/30 lakh for compensating tankers damaged during the economic blockade along Imphal-Jiribam Highway has been lying unattended at the Chief Minister’s table, continued the aggrieved drivers.
For how long the cease work strike would continue would depend on the outcome of a meeting between transporters’ associations and the Chief Minister, they added.


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