The indefinite economic blockade called by truckers from two entry points to Dimapur by road from Karbi Anglong district of Assam entered the second day on Wednesday.

Five truckers’ unions based in Dimapur and Lahorijan, Khatkhati and Bokajan of Karbi Anglong district of Assam called for an indefinite blockade of goods trucks bound from Dimapur since Tuesday in protest against the killing of a truck driver from Dhemaji district of Assam and related demands.

The driver was shot dead at Dimapur in the wee hours of September 22.

Also read: Nagaland: Truck driver from Assam shot dead in Dimapur

Though the real motive behind the killing is not clear it was attributed to the collection of illegal tax from transporters.

Dimapur Police have constituted a special investigation team led by additional commissioner of police (crime) T Relo Aye to investigate into the killing.

Dimapur commissioner of police Rothihu Tetseo told Northeast Now in this regard in his office chamber on Wednesday.

He said the police are investigating the case with all sincerity and that two suspects have already been arrested while 19 others were called in for questioning.

Tetseo claimed the police have been able to gather the clues relating to the case and said the culprits will be arrested soon. The police are doing their best, he stated.

He said sometimes it takes time to investigate a case in an apparent reference to the Public Action Committee of Dimapur asking the police to arrest the culprits with 10 days on Tuesday.

Tetseo called the killing unfortunate and condemned it, especially at a time when the solution to the Naga political problem is expected.

However, he said: “We should not let the situation go out of control.”

Tetseo said police have been providing escort to the truckers till Tuesday morning and will continue to do so when asked for.

When asked what steps the district administration is taking on the killing, Dimapur deputy commissioner Rajesh Soundarajan said he spoke to the Dimapur police commissioner in this regard and that the police are on the job.

Soundarajan said the truckers have not given any written complaint in regard to the case.

“We can take action on any specific case when we receive a complaint in writing,” he said.

The district administration is ready to provide security to the truckers whenever asked for, he added.

Soundarajan said the district administration and the police are taking up the case based on media reports.

On the alleged multiple-tax collected from transporters once they enter Dimapur from Assam, the state government has to decide on it.

Five truckers’ unions – Dimapur District Truck Owners’ Association, Dimapur Truck Drivers’ Union, Dimapur District Truck Drivers’ Welfare Trade Union, Lahorijan and Khatkhati Truckers’ Welfare Society and Bokajan Truck Owners’ Association – have imposed the blockade.

They are demanding that the Nagaland government take prompt against the perpetrators of the killing, compensate the family of the deceased, revocation of multi taxation and rollback of lease system by Dimapur Municipal Council.

President of Lahorijan and Khatkhati Truckers’ Welfare Society and Bokajan Truck Owners’ Association Khahuli Kibami told this reporter that the blockade will continue till the demands are met.

“Until the Nagaland government comes and discusses the issue and gives in writing to meet the truckers’ demands, no goods trucks will be allowed to enter Dimapur from the two check gates,” she said.

Kibami said all truckers are cooperating with the strike and none of them is willing to transport their goods to Dimapur and other parts of Nagaland unless the state government takes any concrete steps to end the taxation issue.

Hundreds of goods-laden trucks bound for Nagaland and Manipur were seen stranded at Lahorijan and near Dillai gate while volunteers of truckers’ unions were keeping vigil to ensure that no goods transport vehicle crosses over to Dimapur.

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: bhadragogoi@yahoo.com