Hundreds of stranded truck drivers at Jiribam, Manipur on Sunday expressed fear and insecurity in plying along the National Highway-37 as looting continues even with security arrangement.
According to the stranded truck diverse, the loaded trucks escorted by security personnel were looted on the hill route by armed miscreants and the security escorts remained mute spectators. The truck drivers fear to move towards Imphal.
Talking to a team of media persons in Jiribam, the stranded truck drivers said that due to the ethnic clashes among the two communities, the truck drivers are facing extreme difficulties. Loaded trucks ferrying essential goods for all the people of Manipur are looted and harassed by armed miscreants at various places along the NH-37.
A visible upset driver expressed that they also have families and want to live with them during this emergency situation. However, they are stranded due to violent clashes which broke out among the communities. The truck drivers drew the attention of the government to make sure that their lives are safe while ferrying goods to Imphal.
"The Kuki women and youths asked whether the drivers are Meitei,” said stranded truck drivers. Such kind of communal and hateful conduct is intolerable, they said.
Everyone knows NH drivers are mostly Meitei. If the drivers stop using the steering, then who will transport goods to Imphal, they asked.
President of the All Jiribam Road Transport Driver Union (AJRTDU) Pratap said the truckers who carry all the essential goods for the state on NH-37 were left stranded on the road due to the violent clashes from May 3 at different parts of Manipur.
He appealed to the authority concerned for providing proper security to the truckers for safe passage on the road.