The "indefinite economic blockade" called by five unions of truckers and drivers at the inter-state entry points of Dimapur, the commercial hub of Nagaland, entered its third day on Thursday affecting the supply of essential goods in the north eastern state, an official said. The blockade, jointly called by the unions based in Nagaland's Dimapur and Assam's Karbi Anglong, had been called demanding safety of transporters and ex-gratia for the family of an Assam-based trucker who was shot dead by miscreants in Dimapur on September 22.
Over 200 vehicles, including oil tankers bound for Nagaland and Manipur, are stranded at Lahorijan and Khatkhati, the main entry points at the Assam-Nagaland border, due to the blockade. Commissioner of Police Rothihu Tetseo said that a joint meeting of the district administration, Dimapur Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) and the transport unions have decided to approach their Assam counterpart to call off the agitation.
On the availability of essential commodities in Dimapur, Dimapur Municipal Council administrator Albert Ezung said that people need not worry as there is sufficient stock while transporters have agreed to allow passage of perishable goods into the state with police escort from Thursday night. The Dimapur-based unions had agreed to resume normal transportation in the interest of all concerned, DCCI president Akashe K Zhimomi said.
But Karbi Anglong-based union members said that the blockade will continue as the Nagaland government has not responded to their demands. The blockade has been called by the Dimapur District Truck Owners' Association, Dimapur Truck Drivers Union, Dimapur District Truck Drivers Welfare Trade Union, Lahorijan and Khatkati Truckers' Welfare Society and the Bokajan Truck Owners' Association.
The unions had served a three-day ultimatum to the Nagaland government on September 24, and went ahead with the blockade as the government did not pay heed to their demand of ex-gratia for the family of the truck driver, they said.