Over 1,000 empty trucks and oil tankers with security escort left in Imphal on Sunday for Jiribam to collect essential items, defying the ongoing blockade on the National Highway 53, to ease the food crisis in Manipur, official sources said.
"Police commandos and jawans of India Reserve Battalion (IRB) are escorting the vehicles on the Imphal-Jiribam-Silchar National Highway 53 in the wake of destruction of several food-laden trucks by those supporting the blockades at Khumbong yesterday," the sources said.
The vehicles, carrying essentials, are scheduled to return after three days, they said.
Jiribam, located about 222 km west of Imphal, is a town bordering Assam. Blockades have been continuing on two important roads -- Imphal-Dimapur-Guwahati National Highway 39 and Imphal-Jiribam-Silchar National Highway 53 in Senapati district -- for nearly one and a half months creating scarcity of essentials in the land locked state.
The Sadar Hills District Demand Committee has launched indefinite economic blockades on the two highways demanding conversion of Kuki-majority Sadar Hills into a full-fledged revenue district from August 1.
Opposing the demand, the United Naga council also launched blockades on the two highways since the middle of August.