48-Hour Transport Strike in Assam: Commercial and Public Vehicles to Stay Off Roads

Guwahati: Commercial vehicles were off the roads in Assam on Friday in protest against the new hit-and-run law under the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, 2023.

The 48-hours long strike called by the Assam Motor Worker Associations' affected app-based cab services, inter-city bus services, and fuel and goods-carrying vehicles. Office-goers had a difficult time in reaching their workplaces as buses, taxis and app cabs didn't ply, abiding by the call.

The convenor of Assam Motor Worker Associations' Joint Platform told reporters, “The government only wants to blame drivers for any unfortunate incident even if they may not have committed the crime. Instead of improving road conditions, they are penalising the poor drivers.”

The convenor of the joint forum Ramen Das said, "The new law on hit-and-run cases is anti-drivers and is against owners of vehicles. We call for a strike of all vehicles from 5 am on Friday to 5 am on Sunday to press for our demand for withdrawal of the legislation.”

Talks with officials of the state government on Thursday night failed to make any headway, he added.

Under the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS), which is set to replace the Indian Penal Code (IPC), drivers, who cause serious road accidents due to negligent driving and run away without informing police or the administration, can face up to 10 years in prison or a fine of Rs 7 lakh. The punishment for such offences was two years in the British-era IPC.

The transporters' platform has also urged private car owners to join the stir, as the law is applicable to everyone irrespective of whether someone is driving a commercial vehicle or a small car, he said.

The protestors said that they had called for a strike to press their demand for the withdrawal of the legislation. According to the protesters, the Assam government has the option not to implement the new rules.

Meanwhile, the state transport minister Parimal Suklabaidya here on Friday said that he would meet the protestors in Guwahati to understand their demands.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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