IMPHAL, April 22: In the backdrop of drivers of the All Manipur Petroleum Tankers and divers Union launching a steering down strike in protest against the kidnapping of an oil tanker driver of Manipur by unidentified armed persons, most oil pumps in Imphal remained close due to the strike. Subsequently, petrol is now selling for Rs 110/- per litre on the black market.
The Union strike is being held to protest the act of kidnapping of the driver at gun-point which took place about 1 km towards Imphal from Kohima town yesterday at around 4.30 a.m.
Speaking at a press conference was held by All Manipur Petroleum Tankers and Drivers Union at Inter State Bus Terminus (ISTB) located at Khuman Lampak of Imphal regarding the kidnapping of tanker driver Sougrakpam Surjit (42), son of S Phajaton, Sangakpham near the capital town Kohima, Nagaland yesterday morning, Y Bupenchandra Gosh, President of the Union said that Manipur Government should be responsible for the incident as the Union had earlier appealed to Indian oil corporation (IOC) and Manipur Government to provide adequate security. It may be mentioned that the oil tankers were escorted by 78 BN CRPF personnel at Nagaland from Khatkhati to Khuzma and escorted by 69BN CRPF personnel at Manipur from Khuzma to Imphal.
“Yesterday, oil tankers were escorted CRPF personnel led by BP Singh, Inspector of G Company of 78BN CRPF at Nagaland from Khatkhati. He did not mention about the kidnapping of Driver Surjit when he officially handed over the oil tankers to CRPF personnel of Manipur. This is an act of CRPF personnel of Nagaland acting in connivance with the kidnappers, Bupenchandra Gosh alleged .
Yesterday’s incident was brought to the notice of Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister, Director General of Police and Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution of Minister with a copy of a written representation being submitted to each of them. “Drivers will not go to collect oil, will not supply oil to oil pumps and tankers outside Manipur will not come to Imphal as we are now on a steering down strike,” he said.
Predictably, most oil pumps of Imphal remained closed with the public being seen standing in long queues at the few outlets which opened for a brief spell today.