Suspected underground cadres on Friday attacked on Imphal-bound loaded trucks including oil tankers with gunshots along the Imphal-Jiribam section of NH-37, damaging many vehicles, reports said. Apart from deflating tyres of many trucks, tanks of the oil tankers were hit by the bullets, causing leaking of the oils, further said the reports. There were no reports of casualty among the truckers.
The reports also said that the suspected militants opened fire while vehicles were heading for Imphal from Jiribam side along the NH-37 near Kaiphundai village in Noney district in the morning, around 8.40 am. In the firing, tyres of most of the loaded trucks were deflated after hitting by bullets. Tanks of the oil tankers were leaked after being hit by the bullets, the reports also said.
As told by the drivers, before attacking the vehicles, the armed men who came out on the highway and stopped them. They then asked the Imphal-bound vehicles to make a u-turn. They further asked the vehicles coming from Imphal to do the same, the reports said. The armed men then allegedly threatened the truckers to follow their diktat by firing guns in the air. It was followed by shooting at the tyres and tanks of the oil tankers, the drivers added.
Some truckers heading towards Jiribam lodged a complaint with the Central security force stationed at Kaiphundai who immediately rushed and cleared the road along with the police who also immediately arrived there, the drivers said. Later, the trucks and oil tankers were allowed to move to their respective destinations, the drivers added.
Reports then said that while security forces and police were clearing the road from the presence of armed miscreants, members of various civil society organisations arrived at the spot to take stock of the situation.
Police were yet to ascertain if the armed men are from any armed group. They are looking if the attack was related to the money demand of an armed group.