Truckers demand CBI probe into highway ‘extortion’https://indianexpress.com/article/india/regional/truckers-demand-cbi-probe-into-highway-extortion/

Truckers demand CBI probe into highway ‘extortion’

A truckers body alleged that 'armed men' manning illegal check gates along the highways in Meghalaya were extorting money.

Alleging that ‘armed men’ manning illegal check gates along the highways in Meghalaya were extorting money from coal-laden trucks,a truckers body on Friday demanded a CBI inquiry into the menace saying politicians were hand-in-glove with the elements.

“The earlier Congress government had dismantled the illegal gates. But with the new government headed by Mukul Sangma coming to power,the illegal gates have started mushrooming and forcing the truckers to pay Rs 3,200 per truck per trip on NH 62. There are more than 29 such illegal toll gates manned by armed people,” the North East Truck Owners and Operators Association said in a representation to Governor R S Mooshahary.

The association said truckers are forced to pay money without being issued any receipt.

“We believe that there are some politicians who are involved in this extortion,” it said.

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“Even in case of the legal toll gates,not even 20 per cent of the money collected goes to the government exchequer.

The association believes that there is a very big scam on NH 62 in which crores of rupees is being lost by the Meghalaya government,” the truckers association said.

Referring to the legal gates,the association said,as per the information received under the RTI Act,the Dainadubi sale tax check gate accounted for Rs 33.5 lakh revenue raised from 195264 trucks during April 2007 and October 2009.

However,the truckers pay Rs 3,200 per trip,which means that the total money collected during the period was Rs 62 crore.

Setting a deadline of seven days for the government to dismantle the illegal gates which were involved in “daylight

robberies”,the association threatened to move the central government to get justice if the state government failed to do so.

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