Bullet tankers (bulk LPG carriers) resumed services on Friday as drivers suspended their steering-wheel down strike barely a day after the strike was launched. The drivers agreed to resume working after the Manipur Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution (CAF&PD) minister assured compensations for the loss the drivers had suffered in the Wednesday night looting incident and for the damages to the vehicles. Another reason for the transporters to resume service is the arrest of three suspects involved in the looting incident by the police.
On Wednesday night, some of the 120 bullet tankers heading Imphal from Dimapur side with security escorts along NH-2 were looted after they were forced to stop by pelting stones, breaking the windshields and side glasses of some vehicles. Protesting the looting incident, that also injured some drivers, in the alleged thrashing by the looters, drivers of bullet tankers launched the steering down strike with immediate effect on Thursday. Representing the agitating drivers, leaders of All Manipur Road Transport Drivers and Motor Workers Union (AMRTDMWU) on Friday met with the state CAF&PD minister on the latter’s invitation.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, AMRTDMWU joint secretary, N Dilip Singh said that the minister assured to compensate the losses the drivers suffered in the looting incident. The minister further assured to arrest all the culprits involved in the looting incident, he said.
Following the assurance from the minister coupled with the arrest of three of the suspects involved in the looting incident, AMRTDMWU has decided to resume the service from Friday.
Dilip Singh, however, demanded that the state government should also intensify the ROP along the stretch of the NH-2 so as to check repetition of such untoward incidents in future.
Meanwhile, state police, in a statement, claimed that three persons suspected to have been involved in the looting incident were arrested by Sapermeina police station last night. The police arrested the trio after a FIR case was lodged in the police station in connection with the looting incident. The police alleged that some miscreants stopped and robbed the unknown drivers of three LPG bullet tankers while they were heading towards Imphal.
The unknown miscreants had robbed a cash of Rs 7,000 from the driver of tanker no. MNO5C-0385, Rs 3,000 from the driver of tanker no. MN04P-0418 and Rs 2,000 and one mobile phone from the driver of tanker no. MNO5C- 0368.
Further the unknown miscreants had also damaged the windshields and side glasses of all the said tankers by pelting stones.