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AITUC Manipur unit renews highway protection force demand

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IMPHAL, April 28:  The Manipur unit of All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) on Sunday renewed its long pending demand –setting up of highway protection force.

Notably, over 4000 drivers, particularly belonging to the Meitei community, are jobless now after the ethnic crisis erupted in the nearby state a year ago, according to unions of drivers of inter-state service trucks.

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Addressing a press conference at Irawat Bhavan in Imphal today, AITUC Manipur unit general secretary Laishram Sotinkumar alleged that the state government is not taking up the plights of the labourers, particularly the drivers.

The AITUC has been pressing the state government to set up a dedicated highway protection force to be deployed along the national highways in the state. However, no step to implement the demand is yet to be taken up by the state government, he said.

The demand was discussed at several cabinet meetings and even in the house of the state Assembly. However, the state government is not sending recommendations regarding the matter till date, he added.

“Our persistent demand is for the setting up of the highway protection force and we will continue to press the state government to implement the same,” he asserted.

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The AITUC general secretary, while highlighting the grievances of the labourers ahead of the May Day, said that the workers are the most affected group of the society in the ongoing crisis.

He said that like in the previous years, the AITUC Manipur unit is going to host May Day observance this year, too, in Imphal’s THAU ground.

Unlike the previous years, the event will be organized in a low key manner taking into account the ongoing violence in the state.

He said that May Day has been observed in the state under the aegis of the All India Youth Federation in Manipur since 1939. He traced the first ever observance of the day under the initiative of late Lamyanba Irabot (Hijam Irabot) and this year would mark the 135th May Day celebration in the state. (NNN)

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