Police resort to lathicharge against agitating truckers at Umsamlem

Cop attacked, vehicles torched

Security personnel help stranded vehicles pass on NH 40 near Umsamlem village. (ST)

NONGPOH:  Within a week of the mayhem at Umling weighbridge, the angry truckers on Saturday stalled several vehicles on NH 40 for hours from around 3 pm, demanding the release of the truckers who were arrested on Friday, compelling the security forces to lathicharge the truckers.
The truckers, unhappy over the delay in clearing the transportation of coal, allegedly assaulted a police constable, who was a part of the flying squad, at Umsamlem village along the National Highway. They also torched his bike.
A stationary mini truck  at Umran Diary was also torched.
Earlier, police and CRPF personnel rushed to the place of occurrence to counter the swelling contingent of agitated truckers.
The security forces had no other option but to resort to lathicharge at Umsamlem to disperse the truckers and to clear the traffic. In the process, several residents also came under caning which infuriated them to revolt against the police and the CRPF.
The National Highway was virtually transformed into a war zone which resulted in commuters being stranded for long hours.
According to eye witnesses, hundreds of truckers first assembled in the middle of National Highway at Umsamlem village. The truckers blocked vehicles resulting in traffic snarl for hours.
This is the third consecutive attack by the truckers. On February 1, they  targeted  the Umling weighbridge premises  consisting of the weigh bridge counter, DMR,  Sales Tax and the Transport office,  and on Friday , they blocked the National Highway with boulders . The police and the CRPF cleared the road and arrested five truckers following the incident.
As reason for the February 1   incident, the truckers had alleged they had to wait for at least four days to clear the formalities to carry on with the transportation of coal.
On Saturday , the truckers  were angry over the delay in the transportation coal  due to no entry  and they were also adamant to release the five truckers who were  arrested by the police on Friday.