Friday, May 23, 2008
40 trucks damaged in stoning, oil pumps run dry as blockade begins
IMPHAL, May 22: Windshields of more than 40 goods trucks including oil tankers were broken in stoning by economic blockade supporters along the Imphal-Mao section of the NH-39 even as most of the oil pumps closed down today due to non-availability of stocks at the oil depots.A truck transporting sand from Dimapur was also set ablaze by blockade supporters last night at around 8.30 pm at Tadubi.The indefinite economic blockade along the NH-39 imposed by the Naga People’s Organisation, NPO, Senapati district commenced yesterday in protest against the state government’s failure to take up positive action in matters of PDS items and water supply even after its 24-hour district-wide bandh on May 20.Reports said that truckers leaving Mao gate late yesterday afternoon with security escorts were caught in heavy stoning from the blockade supporters on their way from Tadubi to Senapati.Windshields of more than 40 loaded trucks were shattered, reports said. There were no reports of human casualties though.The security personnel escorting the vehicles did nothing to stop the stoning which greatly annoyed the truckers. They said they were not satisfied with the security forces who escorted them for namesake only.The trucks were stranded at Mao gate due to the blockade which commenced immediately after the end of the 24-hour general strike on May 20.In the meantime, most of the oil pumps in Imphal remained closed for the day. According to the oil pumps, it was due to unavailability of stocks even though the IFP witnessed many black marketeers selling petrol near the closed pumps.Many black marketeers came out near the oil pumps with plenty of petrol containers and sold the petrol at higher rates.