Thirty people were arrested and 18 illegal toll gates dismantled as the Meghalaya government launched a massive crackdown on extortion activities along the State highways.

The Meghalaya government has adopted a ?zero tolerance policy? on the collection of toll, taxes and fees illegally by individuals or groups, deputy commissioner of East Garo Hills Pravin Bakshi told PTI on Friday.

Official sources said the Deputy Commissioners and Superintendents of Police in the seven districts of the State had been fully empowered and asked to strictly enforce the writ of law on the highways and initiate prompt action if complaints are received.

He said there are 13 check/toll gates functional which are authorized. Last year, 12 illegal gates were dismantled.

?Over the last few days, we have removed 18 such gates and as many as 14 cases registered at various police stations,? the deputy commissioner said.

Thirty people have been arrested so far for running such illegal gates, he said.

Truckers in Meghalaya have been complaining against extortion on highways and even moved Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram seeking a CBI probe into the menace.

They alleged that men armed with AK-47 rifles were manning around 29 illegal check gates along the highways in Meghalaya and extorting over Rs. 6,000 per truck per trip.