Indefinite highway blockade in Thoubal against missing VDF personnel case

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Imphal: Traffic on busy National Highway 102 connecting Imphal with Moreh came to a grinding halt in Manipur’s Thoubal district with the commencement of an indefinite highway blockade on Wednesday.

A joint action committee (JAC) formed in connection with the missing of a VDF personnel who was on a poppy destruction mission in Chandel district is imposing the blockade, alleging that the state government does not take a proactive role in tracing the missing VDF personnel.

VDF personnel Ningombam Premananda (37) from Okram Leikai of Thoubal district remained untraced after he went missing from the campus of the 15 Assam Rifles at Urantop hill in Chandel district on the intervening night of January 20 and 21.

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He was among a team of police personnel on a mission to destroy illegal poppy fields at different hill ranges in Sajik Tampak area of the district.

Family of the VDF personnel and locals who formed a JAC have been pressing the authorities of the state government to trace the missing personnel.

Failure to get a positive response by the deadline set by the JAC to trace the missing personnel, locals of Okram Leikai under the aegis of the JAC are imposing the blockade along the national highway since this morning.

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On day one of the blockade, a large number of people came out on the streets along the highway at some places and banned movement of all kinds of vehicles on the highway.

The protesters also prevented plying of all kinds of vehicles on the roads that can be used as diversion routes of the highway.

While imposing the blockade, JAC leaders expressed dismay over the state government’s alleged irresponsible attitude in tracing the missing VDF personnel.

A JAC leader told reporters that they have served an ultimatum to the state government to deliver justice for the missing on or before January 31.  However, no positive response came forth from the government side, the leader alleged.

He warned of intensifying the protest if the government continues to remain mute on the matter.

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While imposing the blockade, the protesters also displayed placards read as “Government tolerates the missing of N Premananda”, “Hand over missing N Premananda to the family at the earliest,” “We condemn government’s irresponsibility and voicelessness,” “Help and support in finding missing VDF Premananda,” etc.

No untoward incident was reported while the protesters blocked the highways on day one of the blockade.

NNN

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