Several tribal groups began a 10-day economic blockade of Manipur from Thursday midnight. This caused fuel shortage and a spike in prices of several consumables, affecting normal life across the state.
Hundreds of vehicles, including passenger buses and private cars, were left stranded at various places in and around the state.
Police were escorting the stranded vehicles to ensure the safety of passengers, a senior police officer said.
“Arrangements have been made to escort fuel and liquefied petroleum gas tankers from Nagaland and Assam to Imphal. Police is also escorting stranded buses and trucks along the national highways,” the officer told IANS.
In order to check hoarding and avoid hardships to the common man, the Manipur government has directed stockists, dealers and retailers of essential commodities to publicly display on boards their stocks and prices of each commodity.
Highly placed sources told IANS that the measure is also intended to check deliberate hike in prices of consumer items by unscrupulous traders.
Officials said there was no need for panic buying of fuel since there were enough stocks. However, the prices of several consumables have risen despite government assurances, with potatoes and onions costing Rs 35 a kg.
The officials also said stocks of petrol, diesel, kerosene and LPG in the state could last from 20 to 27 days. But most of the petrol pumps have shut down, claiming to have ‘nil’ stocks. Interestingly, there is no fuel shortage as far as roadside illegal vendors are concerned.
Earlier, a 24-hour strike called by tribal activists in Manipur to protest alleged police “excesses” on slogan-shouting supporters in Delhi ended on Thursday midnight, which was followed by the start of the 10-day economic blockade.
Besides, the Kangleipak Students Association too has called for a general strike in Manipur from 5 p.m. on Saturday till Monday evening.