Oil tanker drivers launch indefinite steer down strike

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Imphal: Decrying the attack on the oil tankers by bandh supporters along National Highway-2 at Keithelmanbi and demanding to compensate the damage vehicles and injured drivers, oil tanker drivers launched indefinite steering down strike on Saturday.

The protest rally was staged by highway oil tanker drivers in front of Malom Oil Depot, Malom, Imphal West.

Civil bodies of Kangpokpi spearheaded by the KSO Sadar Hills imposed total bandh on all commercial trucks, including tankers along the National Highway-2, since Friday noon over fatal hit-and-run case.

KSO Sadar hills had earlier served an ultimatum for 24 hours against the accused to surrender or police to find out the accused in connection with the hit-and-run case occurred on January 19.

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Pukhrambam John a protestor said the drivers strongly condemn for attacking the oil tankers by bandh supporters without warning. If the ban supporters cautioned the drivers, then the drivers might have cooperated with them, he added.

He said for every misunderstanding, all protestors have to blame the highway vehicle drivers. He appealed all band supporters and others to stop blaming highway drivers as they are doing duties for the welfare of the people.

He said the incident was occurred due to the incompetence of security forces deployed to protect the highway vehicle drivers. He said the incident occurred in front of the security forces where the security forces who were deployed at the spot did not take any precautionary measures or action against the bandh supporters.

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During the incident, about 59 oil tankers were damaged and three drivers were seriously injured while many drivers and assistant drivers were also received minor injuries, said John.

He said amid the drivers being diverted to another route one of the police constables in Senapati assaulted the drivers by using abusive words. The drivers strongly condemn for assaulting the drivers and urge the state government to take necessary action against the police constable, John said.

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He appealed the state government to provide full authority to the security forces those were deputed along the national highway so that highway drivers could be saved from unwanted incidents.

He said at present 120 oil tankers were blocked at Lairouching, Kangpokpi district out of which 75 are oil tankers of Indian Oil Corporation Limited; 30 are gas bullet tankers and 15 are Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited oil tankers.

John said the indefinite steering down strike will be continued till the demands of the drivers are not fulfilled.

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