Kuki militants attack fuel tankers, two drivers hurt Timely act averts major disaster


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By Our Staff Reporter
IMPHAL, Apr 16: With a sinister motive to obstruct supply of essential commodities including fuel to the State, suspected Kuki militants attacked a convoy of goods carriers on Imphal-Jiribam highway today.
A convoy of goods carriers including fuel tankers, escorted by security personnel, was moving toward Imphal when Kuki militants attacked them with a volley of fire at around 10.30 am in between Tollen Kuki village and Kaimai village under Tousem sub-division, Tamenglong district.
The suspected Kuki militants fired indiscriminately from close range taking advantage of some gaps between the security vehicles and the goods carriers.
Two oil tanker drivers identified as Tularam Magar of Irang Part II and Romesh of Kanto sustained injuries in the attack.
Moreover, four oil tankers and one LPG bullet tanker were also badly damaged in the attack, causing leakage of petrol, diesel and LPG.
Soon after the attack ceased, Tularam Magar was evacuated to Nungba CHC before he was taken to Advance Hospital.
Timely action by the drivers and handymen prevented a major disaster in the area as they fixed the leakage of LPG before it caught fire.
In case the leaked fuels caught fire and the vehicles burst into flames, a devastating tragedy would have unfolded within 5 Km radius of the spot, sources said.
The vehicles which were damaged in the Kuki militants’ act of terrorism included LPG bullet tanker with registration number MN06-A-1144 driven by Romesh of Kanto, tanker truck carrying aviation tribune fuel with registration number AS01-NC-7615 driven by Arjun, tanker truck carrying HSD driven by Tularam Magar, tanker truck carrying HSD with registration number 3214 driven by Santosh and tanker truck carrying MS with registration number AS01-NC-0978 driven by Pintu.
Altogether 185 vehicles carrying petroleum products and essential items were on their way to Imphal with CRPF escorts.
The convoy included 60 LPG bullet tankers, 40 oil tankers and 85 vehicles carrying other essential commodities.
Following withdrawal of some CRPF personnel from the escort duty for deployment in election duties and cancellation of ROP duty by other Central forces, many empty vehicles coming from Imphal to Jiribam and loaded vehicles coming from Jiribam to Imphal have been stranded at different points of Imphal-Jiribam highway since the past few days, sources said.
Earlier, drivers appealed to the authority concerned to provide adequate security escorts and proper ROP for smooth movement along the Imphal-Jiribam highway.
Later in the day, representatives of transport organisations, dealers of BPCL and HPCL talked with Chief Minister N Biren at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat regarding the attack.
The Chief Minister reportedly assured them that the five vehicles which were damaged in the attack would be shifted to a safe location at Shanti Khunou near a CRPF camp.
According to the representatives who took part in the meeting, they will continue their normal duties and transportation of essential commodities including fuel would go on as usual.
On the other hand, soon after photos and videos of the incident went viral on social media, large number of people resorted to panic buying of petrol and diesel, and serpentine queues could be seen at different oil pumps of Imphal.