Agartala, March 3: A truck loaded with coal was hijacked by an organised gang in the Latumbai area of Meghalaya yesterday late in the afternoon.
The driver of the truck, Ajay Debbarma, was severely beaten up before the hijacking. Even though the injured driver managed to reach the nearest police station and file a complaint, the hijacked truck has not yet been recovered nor have the criminals been caught.
The secretary of the pro-CPM Tripura Motor Shramik Union, Biswanath Dhar, said a Tata truck, with numberplate AS-01 (AC) 7595, owned by Shantanu Ghosh of Teliamura subdivision in Khowai district, had been loaded with coal in the Mandirhati area in Meghalaya and was headed for Guwahati.
On the way the loaded truck was waylaid by a gang of criminals who forced driver Ajay Debbarma to stop the vehicle at Latumbai. They then beat up the driver and left him injured on the roadside before making off with the loaded truck for an unknown location.
Dhar said after recovering consciousness, the driver reached the nearest police station and filed a complaint about the attack. But so far neither has the truck been recovered nor the miscreants arrested.
“Such things have been happening over the past few years; several trucks have been hijacked in this manner earlier also and drivers injured; last year, a driver, Benoy Patari, was killed in Meghalaya,” said Dhar.
He added that the “most unfortunate” thing was the non-availability of any relief from the police and administration.
“Our transport minister Manik Dey has spoken to his counterpart in Meghalaya several times but there has been no change; we are approaching him to take up the issue with the Meghalaya government this time also and will be awaiting good results,” said Dhar.
The passage of landlocked Tripura’s umpteen number of loaded trucks, still the sheet anchor of the state’s transportation system, to and from Guwahati and Calcutta across Meghalaya, has become fraught with risks.
Police high-handedness and abduction and assault on drivers, and even hijacking of loaded trucks, have led to a fear psychosis among drivers and transporters.