The 48-hour bandh imposed by unions of truckers and transporters evoked a mixed response on Sunday, the first day.
All Jiribam Road Transport Drivers’ Union (AJRTDU) and All Manipur Road Transport Drivers & Motor Workers Union (AMRTDMWU) have been jointly imposing the shutdown since Saturday night in protest against Friday’s gun attack to the trucks and oil tankers on NH-37 (Imphal-Jiribam road). Other drivers’ bodies of the state are also supporting the shutdown.
The shutdown partially hit normal life across the state as almost all kinds of commercial service vehicles including inter-state service trucks and passenger vehicles stayed off the road. However, private vehicles were seen plying on the streets in Imphal. Similar situations were reported from some other district headquarters.
Owing to the shutdown coupled with holiday being Sunday, almost all the shops and other business establishments in Imphal were affected. Almost all the inter-state service vehicles including goods ferry trucks and passengers buses were reportedly stranded midway at various places, particularly at Jiribam bordering Assam and Mao bordering Nagaland.
In Jiribam, drivers of trucks came out on the street along the NH-37 and imposed the shutdown despite intervention by the police.
Reports said that Jiribam town wore deserted as truckers stranded there with the support of locals imposed the shutdown.
Drivers claimed that all the inter-state service vehicles stayed off the road on the national highways and appealed to all sections of the society to support the shutdown, considering the plights of the truckers plying on the national highways.
Talking to reporters in Imphal on Sunday, AMRTDMWU sought the support of the people while urging the government authorities to ensure drivers to discharge their duties freely without any fear by deploying adequate security on the stretches of the highways. AMRTDMWU general secretary Maimom Anil Meetei claimed that no inter-state goods ferry trucks plied on the national highways.
He then sought the support of the civil society organisations, student bodies and other drivers and transporters bodies in the protest called by them.