Drivers’ protest against police ban on carrying goods imported from Myanmar

Imphal, October 16 (NNN): Normal vehicular movement along the Imphal-Moreh section on NH-2 was disturbed for few hours on Friday after drivers of the Imphal-Moreh service vehicles including passenger vehicles protested after the police restricted carrying imported goods from Myanmar.

Ground reports said that on Friday morning, police personnel manning the check post along the highway stopped a passenger service vehicle and detained it saying that no imported goods can be transported from the border town.

Following this incident, several drivers of commercial vehicles including passenger service vehicles protested, according to reports. They blocked the highway with their vehicles to register protest against restrictions allegedly imposed without any prior information.

A team of police personnel led by its officer-in-charge (OC) rushed to the spot and tried to convince the drivers.

The officer told the drivers that they were compelled to impose the ban on the transportation of goods imported from Myanmar as a part of preventive measures to check the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

The police officer reportedly convinced the drivers after informing them about the surge in Coronavirus cases and deaths in the neighbouring country. He further informed the drivers that the order shielding the international border after the outbreak of the pandemic in both the countries is still enforced, and while alleging that the goods were brought in into the state illegally through the porous international border.

Mention may be made that authorities of Indian government in Manipur first shielded the international border as a preventive measure to check cross border spread of COVID-19.

The Indian authorities had not only shielded the official cross border entry gates but also fenced the unauthorised entry gates along the borderline.

Later, in the backdrop of the rising number of COVID-19 infections in the country (India), particularly in Manipur, Myanmar authorities also imposed restrictions on the visit of people from the Indian side to the neighbouring country. 

Meanwhile, later, SDPO Moreh convened a meeting with the drivers after which the drivers opened the highway for resumption of normal vehicular movement.

The police gave commercial vehicles time to leave the border town before noon.

On what conditions the agreement was brought about could not be ascertained immediately even as reports said that both sides agreed to hold talks further at the level of Tengnoupal SP.