IMPHAL, April 23 � Unidentified persons torched a goods laden truck (MN01/7228) near Karong in Senapati district today while the state continues to face artificial scarcity of petrol and diesel due to oil tanker drivers� strike.
The incident took place in between Karong and Khongnem area around 9.30 am, says officer-in-charge of Senapati Police Station, 60 km north of Imphal, over phone. He said they registered a case and investigation is on.
Meanwhile, the oil pumps in Imphal continue to be closed for the second day today forcing the general public to buy petrol at Rs 90 to 100 a litre in black market. The fuel outlets here went dry following oil tanker drivers strike.
The oil tankers drivers under the banner of All Manipur Petroleum Tankers Drivers� Union (AMRTDU) had resolved not to take their steering in protest against the abduction of their colleague driver S Surjit Singh(42) of Sangakpham Bazar, Imphal by suspected militants near Kohima�s new reserve line area on his way to Imphal along with 116 oil tankers under security escorts from Khatkhati in Assam on Sunday morning. Surjit was the driver of diesel tanker MN02/6268.
�We�ll continue our agitation as the authorities are yet to fulfil our demands�, says President Y Bhupendra Ghosh of AMRTDU. �We�re demanding immediate release of the abducted driver and a secured transport environment (for oil tankers)�.
Meanwhile, AMRTDU has formally submitted a memorandum to chief minister O Ibobi Singh urging him to provide a secured environment to transport carriers of the state.
On the other hand, Manipur government�s spokesperson and consumers affairs minister M Okendra has informed the media that his government is trying to coordinate their Nagaland counterpart in tracing the whereabouts of abducted driver Surjit.
Meanwhile, rich tributes were paid to the heroes who laid down their lives fighting the British by the Khongjom river to safeguard an independent Manipur in 1891. Paona Brajabashi, a Manipuri hero also sacrificed his life during the Anglo-Manipuri war that took place at Kheba hill.
A two-minute silence was observed as a mark of respect to the departed heroes.
Manipur governor Gurbachan Jagat and chief minister O Ibobi Singh were the chief guest and president on the occasion attended by who�s who of the state. Stating that violence cannot bring any solution, the chief minister appealed to maintain peace and harmony in the state. He also emphasised more on building a strong nation and to settle Manipur in a peaceful state saying that people of the region loves peace not the violence.
Earlier, the governor also spoke on the occasion.Later artistes of the department of arts and culture staged a play on �Khongjom War� after listening traditional folk recital by Laishram Ongbi Mani Devi and her party.