Imphal: Armed miscreants opened fire toward a petroleum tanker travelling along National Highway 36, heading from Jiribam to Imphal, at around 11:30 AM on Tuesday. The incident took place approximately 1.5 kilometers away from Noney Police Station. According to Mukta Nongbri, the General Secretary of the All Manipur Petroleum Products Drivers’ Association, the armed miscreants attempted to stop the petrol tanker. When the driver didn’t comply, they opened fire on the vehicle. Fortunately, the driver did not suffer any injuries as the bullet got stuck in the door of the vehicle.
In response to this incident and the ongoing challenges including extortion and illegal taxation faced by drivers along the highway, drivers have announced that petrol and LPG transport vehicles will stop plying along the highway from tomorrow.
President of All Manipur Petroleum Products Transporters’ Association, A Tamphayai said illegal taxes are being collected from trucks carrying LPG and petroleum products on the Imphal-Jiribam National Highway. He said a sum of 4 Thousand rupees each is levied from each truck, making it hard for the drivers who additionally had to go through the bad road. The associations representing petroleum product drivers and transporters have urged the Manipur government and relevant authorities to enhance security along the highway to ensure the safety of drivers and vehicles.
Must Read | 3 Kuki-Zo killed in Manipur Violence
It may be noted that, in a different incident, on Tuesday, three Kuki-Zo persons were ambushed and killed by unidentified armed miscreants. Reliable sources said the incident occurred between Kharam Vaiphei and Ireng Village under Kangchup Police Station in Kangpokpi District at approximately 7:30 AM. The three individuals identified as Ngamminlun Kipgen from Lhangkichoi Village, Satneo Tuboi, and Ngamminlun Lhouvm from K. Ponlen Village, all in Kangpokpi District, lost their lives on the spot.
The Kuki Inpi Manipur (KIM) the apex civil body of the Kuki tribal community has said the killings are a “deliberate persecution against our people is most condemnable. India must protect its citizens.” KIM claimed that the 3 Kuki men were waylaid and brutally killed by Meitei Police Commandos.