Imphal/ July 28, 2023 (SPN) | Kuki militants extort Rs 5,000 from drivers per truck along NH 37 in Imphal Jiribam Road.
Heavily armed Kuki militants have seized control of significant portions of National Highway-37, notoriously known as the Imphal-Jiribam Road, becoming a major threat to the transportation of essential goods.
The All Manipur Road Transport Drivers & Motor Workers’ Union has brought attention to the alarming situation on the highway.
According to the union’s general secretary, Maimom Anil, the Kuki militants are armed with sophisticated weapons, instilling fear among the drivers.
Reports indicate that over 50 drivers fell victim to the armed group at Old Kaiphundai, while returning from Jiribam towards Imphal with their cargo. These extortion acts took place in the early hours, between 7.30 am and 8 am.
Shockingly, the drivers did not witness any Road Opening Party (ROP) along the stretch during this terrifying ordeal.
The situation has raised serious concerns about the State government’s claims regarding adequate security measures. Despite assurances of a strong security presence in sensitive areas along National Highways, the ground reality seems to be entirely different.
Anil vehemently contested the claims made by the authorities, as the armed miscreants continue to roam freely and wreak havoc on truck along NH 37.
Even in areas like Old Kaiphundai, known to be highly sensitive, the absence of a Road Opening Party (ROP) raises significant questions.
Maimom Anil, speaking on behalf of the Drivers’ Union, has issued a stern warning to the government.
If immediate and concrete actions are not taken to protect the safety of drivers and their cargo, they may initiate a quit steering agitation and stop ferrying truck along NH 37.
The demand is simple – the government must deploy ample security forces along the highway stretch and ensure that the armed militants are brought to justice.
The lack of security measures has severely impacted the movement of goods-carrying vehicles and endangered the livelihoods of drivers who play a vital role in the region’s economy.
This is not the first time drivers have fallen victim to the violent activities of the militants at Old Kaiphundai. The repetition of such incidents begs the question of why the area has not been given the necessary security attention.