Imphal's auto rickshaw drivers' protest against militants extortion demands

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Imphal, Apr 25 : Joining the anti-militant chorus in Manipur, auto rickshaw drivers recently protested against underground groups for extortion demands.

The All Manipur Auto Rickshaw Owners and Drivers Association staged a sit-in protest in Imphal demanding a free atmosphere and an assurance of security from the government.

Carrying placards with slogans "Do not harass us before the repayment of loans to the banks", "Do not harass the daily bread earners", " Are you a revolutionary or mafia", hundreds of auto owners and drivers were participated in the protest.

"Various underground groups demand money from us when we don't even earn much. We would like to plead them to look at us differently and not demand extortions from us," said K. Biteshwor Sharma, General Secretary, Manipur Auto Rickshaws Owners and Drivers Association.

Most of the auto owners and drivers are educated who took to the profession because of the lack of other job avenues.

"It's not something we feel good about when we look at different angles. However, we also have lot of problems and we need to raise our concerns," said Kh. Prakash Singh, an auto driver.

Ibobi, another auto driver added, "We earn so less. It's difficult for us to meet our daily ends. So, demands coming to auto driver are a burden. It's my request that such demands are not made by any groups."

Be it an educationist or a medical professional, a businessmen or a common citizen every body is being harassed by underground groups. As a result, development in the state is stuck with no big business houses coming up to invest in the state.

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