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Off Loaded Rice, Cement Recovered, NSCN (IM) Rubbishes Rice-Jacking Report

The loaded trucks which were retrieved, (inset) rice being off loaded

IMPHAL, Dec 15: Rice and cement bags which were off loaded from FCI trucks coming from Jiribam by  suspected armed cadres of NSCN (IM) at Noney yesterday have been recovered after a joint operation by Assam Rifles and Police. Interestingly, the goods were off loaded in the presence of the security escorts provided by the State Government.

Meanwhile, transporters and FCI have asserted that the yesterday’s incident was due to lapses on the part of the security personnel.

According to police source, the missing rice and cement bags were recovered during a search operation launched jointly under the command of SP of Tamenglong Gonglin Phaomei and Commandant of 26 Assam Rifles Gourav Chaturvedi from a spot located a little further from Noney Bazar.

In all 231 rice bags that were pulled down from five trucks and 60 cement bags that were taken down from one truck have been recovered and the same kept in the custody of the Assam Rifles.

However, there is no report of any arrest in connection with this incident.

On the other hand, transporters and FCI have alleged security lapses over the yesterday’s incident at Noney.

Transporters informed that the incident was immediately reported to Noney Police Outpost and 26 Assam Rifles. But they did nothing. They recalled that the armed cadres who intercepted the loaded trucks were in civvies. They were around 15 and identified themselves as cadres of NSCN (IM) and NNC.

In all seven trucks have been intercepted. After forcing the drivers and the handymen to get down, the armed cadres took away the vehicle documents, keys and mobile phones, the trucks were driven to a nearby ground. There, the rice bags were loaded into a Shaktiman (MN-04T/0198) and later taken to a grocery shop and a hardware shop near Noney Police Outpost.

Before letting the trucks to go, the armed cadres threatened the drivers saying that it was the first warning and from next time all the trucks whether escorted by security personnel or not, should sign the entry at Noney. Otherwise, the trucks would be ambushed, the transporters informed, adding an attempt was also made to set on fire one of the trucks and the driver as well as the handyman were assaulted, they added.

Another group of armed men who identified themselves as cadres of NSCN (K) took Rs 500 from each of the trucks and let go, the transporters informed.

Gen Secy of All Manipur Road Transport Drivers and Motor Workers’ Union H Kullamani said that yesterday’s incident was nothing but leaving the drivers and helpers to their own fate by the security escort.

An FCI official has also asserted security lapses were behind the yesterday’s incident. Conveying that all the seven trucks have been reported back to the FCI godown at Sangaiprou, the official informed that a case has been registered with the police. But how many rice bags have been exactly taken down is yet to be ascertained.


IM rubbishes rice-jacking report

TAMENGLONG, Dec 15: Reacting sharply to news report in some section of Imphal-based dailies today, the NSCN (IM) has refuted report about involvement of its activists in the hijacking of FCI rice loaded trucks at Noney area. According to one Elvis, who claimed to be the Publicity in-charge of the outfit, a team of Naga army stopped some vehicles for checking during which it came to light that trucks meant for transportation of rice were carrying cement underneath the rice bags.

Terming the act as deceitful and suspecting nexus between the transporters and FCI officials, the truck were stopped and searched. Elvis asserted that his claim may be authenticated as one of the vehicles is still stranded at Noney due to technical snag. This particular truck has 160 rice bags and 60 cements bags, he maintained while informing that the other vehicles caught in the act have registration MNos MN04A/0633, MN01/4685, MN02/3506, MN06/5957 and MN04A/0636.

Further claiming that the trucks are in his custody, Elvis cautioned all concerned that such concocted report might lead to dissension amongst different communities of the State and strongly suggested that such acts of deceit be checked so that no public money is wasted.

Majority of the Imphal based news papers had reported that suspected NSCN (IM) cadres had hijacked 13 trucks carrying rice and off loaded them at Noney in the afternoon yesterday, though details could not be gathered at that point of time.

*Reported by Azonnah Zaspar

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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