Trucks seized to thwart blockade

Birgunj, March 13:

Police has reportedly taken under control 41 goods carrier trucks along with the drivers to ply them on the streets during the Maoist’s indefinite strike beginning March 14.

Yesterday police took control of seven trucks and 14 persons including truck drivers and helpers and today 34 more trucks and their drivers and helpers were taken under control. The police, however, released eight cargo trucks heading for other destinations under the pressure of the truck entrepreneurs eight hours after they were held, today.

The drivers and helpers of the detained trucks are being kept in the district police office and the trucks are parked in the Narayani zonal police office and Gandak chowk.

“We have not slept for two days,” Kumar Shrestha, a truck driver kept at the district police office, Parsa, told The Himalayan Times. “We can not resume our business by putting our life at risk.”

Police, however, said they took under their control the trucks heading towards Kathmandu to ensure their safety when they travel towards the destination. But truck drivers said other trucks bound for Chitwan, Hetauda, Gaur, Butwal and Bhairahawa are also in police custody.

Cargo and transport entrepreneurs have expressed their dissatisfaction over the police action to detain the cargo trucks in the name of foiling the Maoists’ blockade of district headquarters from March 14.

A truck bound for Rautahat district headquarters, Gaur, owned by vice chairman of the transport association, Shambhu Gupta has been taken under the police control from the past two days.

The president of the transport association, Parsa, Bishwo Nath Khanal said the police action has marred the entrepreneurs.

“Police is claiming that they are providing security to our vehicles by taking them under their control when the Maoist’s blockade date is arriving. It is nonsense,” a transport entrepreneur said.

“We have taken the vehicles under our control to ensure their security,” superintendent of police, Parsa, Bir Bahadur Rana, said adding: “We have made arrangements of accommodation for the transport staffers inside the police office.”