Orgs condemn attack on trucks

By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Apr 16 : Many organisations including the Manipur Driver Association (MDA) and the Federation of Civil Society Organisations (FOCS) and Youth's Forum for Protection of Human Rights (YFPHR) have strongly condemned the attack on trucks carrying essential items on Imphal-Jiribam Highway today.
While the attack on the goods carrying trucks was a cowardly act, it was an assault on the right to life of the people of Manipur, said the organisations.
Notably, several trucks carrying LPG, petrol and diesel were fired upon by suspected Kuki militants at Tollen near Keimai.
Speaking to media persons at the office of the Manipur Driver Association (MDA) at Kwakeithel, its general secretary Ksh Sanjoy said  the association vehemently condemns the attack and may launch hands off steering wheel stir if actions are not taken up by the Government for safety and security of the trucks and drivers plying the Highway.
He said, without any result so far, the organisation had been urging the Governor, Security Advisor and Government authorities for formation and deployment of Highway Protection Force and to include ambulances with medical teams among the convoy of trucks ferrying goods.
If actions are not taken up to prevent such incidents, drivers may launch stringent stirs and cease work, he added.
Meanwhile, the Youth's Forum for Protection of Human Rights (YFPHR) said the armed militants attacking the escorted trucks was not an isolated incident.
Such incidents have happened frequently along the National Highway. While truck drivers have been looted, assaulted, abducted, tortured and murdered in the past on the Highway, illegal taxes are also collected from all trucks by armed militants on the road, it said in a statement.
Attacking truck drivers and handyman ferrying essential commodities is an attack on the right to life of the civilians. The State has also failed to protect and secure the right to life of its citizens as there is continuous attack and killing of civilians including frontline workers such as truck drivers, handymen who are working tirelessly by risking their life on the dangerous National Highway amid the violent armed conflict, said YFPHR.
The State and Central Government must secure and protect the lives of the frontline workers especially the truck drivers and handymen and clear any obstacles blocking the National Highway. The attackers must be arrested and punished according to the rule of law, it added.
The All Manipur Petrol Pump Dealers and All Manipur Petroleum Product Transporter Association have also come out strongly against the attack.