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Manipur-bound trucks pushed into gorge

By Sobhapati Samom

IMPHAL, May 15 � Unidentified miscreants suspected to be volunteers of a striking students body pushed down two Manipur registered goods-laden trucks into a gorge near Zakhama in Nagaland yesterday, sources said.

The two trucks, ferrying cement and iron bars for Assam Rifles, were pushed down when the truckers were taking a break at a tea stall at Zakhama by some miscreants who came in two-wheelers yesterday afternoon.

The two trucks were among 10 trucks ferrying goods for Assam Rifles post at Maram in Manipur�s Senapati district.

The Nagaland-based Naga Students Federation had reportedly banned entry of vehicles with Manipur registration numbers in Nagaland since a vehicle of the students� body was barred from entering Manipur at Mao Gate recently.

Since then, hundreds of Imphal-bound trucks are stranded at Khatkati in Assam bordering Nagaland forcing Manipur Government to search for an alternative route to bring in essential goods for the State�s two million population.

The State officials are inspecting the condition of the National Highway 150 which connects Mizoram to lift essesential commodities. They are also exploring possibilities for bringing in goods through Assam�s Silchar township, around 250 km west of Imphal through NH 53.

To ensure the continued availability of life saving drugs, Director of Postal Services (Manipur) as per State Government�s request is arranging two flights of 10 MT capacity cargo aircraft between Guwahati and Imphal on May 17.

Meanwhile, the United Committee Manipur (UCM) has relaxed the total blockade imposed on the vehicles plying to the hill areas of Manipur from today.

The Committee has demanded resignation of Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on moral ground for giving permission to NSCN-IM leader Th Muivah to visit Manipur, saying that he should be held responsible for any unwanted incident that may occur as a result of the situation arising out of the proposed visit.

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