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Unsung heroes face extortion by police in eastern hills

by Editorial Team
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Unsung heroes face extortion by police in eastern hills

Amidst the ongoing conflict, the hills, once easily accessible, now loom as impassable barriers, barring entry to the valley’s inhabitants. Encircled by this turmoil, the valley finds itself cut off from the outside world. Adding to the challenges, the Jiribam Imphal highway, vital for linking the valley to the broader economy, is besieged by the specter of lawlessness entrenched in Manipur’s eastern hills. Yet, amidst these formidable circumstances, a group of unsung heroes emerges – the truck drivers.
Undeterred by the perils lurking in the treacherous hills, these truck drivers persist in delivering essential supplies to the people of Manipur. Their journeys, fraught with numerous obstacles, epitomize courage in adversity. However, even their valiant efforts are not immune to the pervasive lawlessness gripping the region.
Operating under the constant threat of extortion by Manipur police commandos seeking illicit gains, these brave truck drivers navigate a perilous path. Accounts from the drivers paint a grim picture, depicting instances where police personnel brazenly seize not only money but also mobile phones and vital supplies, including the very vegetables loaded onto their trucks. Refusal to comply with these extortion demands effectively results in punishments such as truck detentions, leaving the drivers at the mercy of those sworn to uphold the law and turning security measures into coercive blackmail.
The situation in the hills descends further into chaos with each passing day, as lawlessness tightens its grip on the region. Moreover, the tranquility of Manipur is shattered by yet another eruption of violence, as Kuki militants unleash an assault on the Heirok area. Reports trickle in, revealing the grim toll of casualties, highlighting the severity of the escalating conflict.
Regarding the resolution of these issues, the Home Minister is scheduled to visit Manipur. Despite earlier promises of a prompt visit, it has taken him months, nearly a year, to arrive. However, his visit is anticipated more as a campaign gesture rather than as a harbinger of peace bringing solutions.
The ramifications of these developments reverberate throughout Manipur, casting a shadow of uncertainty over the region’s future. Once bustling arteries of commerce now lie dormant, paralyzed by fear and uncertainty. The resilience of the people is put to the ultimate test as they grapple with the harsh realities imposed by the conflict. As the situation continues to deteriorate, the plight of the truck drivers serves as a poignant reminder of the human cost of conflict. Their unwavering dedication to delivering aid amidst peril stands as a testament to the indomitable spirit of the people of Manipur. However, until the specter of lawlessness is vanquished, their noble efforts remain ensnared in a cycle of coercion and extortion.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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