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Bihar: Two-day Strike of Trucks, Buses, Cabs and Autos Against the new law on Hit-and-run

The two-day (February 16 and 17) strike began under the banner of the All India Road Transport Worker Federation.
Representational Image. Image Courtesy: PTI

Representational Image. Image Courtesy: PTI

Patna: Thousands of trucks, buses, dumpers, cabs and auto-rickshaws joined the strike in Bihar on Friday and protested against the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Central government's new law that has the provision of 10 years of jail term and heavy penalty of Rs 7 lakh in hit and run cases.

Normal life was hit across the state as most trucks, buses, dumpers, cabs, and auto-rickshaws remained off the roads. The drivers, helpers, and owners of vehicles staged a dharna and held protest marches in different places.

The two-day (February 16 and 17) strike began under the banner of the All India Road Transport Worker Federation.

Federation leader Rajkumar Jha told NewsClick that Truck, Bus and Lorry Drivers Union, Auto Rickshaw Union, E-Rickshaw Drivers Union and Cab Drivers Union have joined the strike.

"All of them have decided not to ply their vehicles."

Besides, Bharatiya Private Transport Mazdoor Mahasangh also supported the strike against new provisions of hit-and-run cases.

Jha said there is a complete strike by trucks, buses, lorries, tankers, cabs, auto-rickshaws and e-rickshaws, except government-owned vehicles.

"We have spared ambulance and school vehicles from the strike and appealed to auto-rickshaw and e-rickshaw drivers to help Class 10th and 12th students to reach schools to appear in their ongoing examination."

As per reports, thousands of trucks, dumpers and buses are standing on roads at different places in Patna, Rohtas, Madhepura, Nalanda, Darbhanga, Jehanabad, Kaimur, East Champaran, Begusarai, Siramarhi, Bhagalpur, Aurangabad, Muzaffarpur and Nawada and other districts in the state. Long queues of trucks and buses on roadsides have also disrupted normal traffic on these roads.

In Patna, the sloganeering protestors, comprising mostly drivers, helpers and transporters, took out a foot march from GP Golumbar to Dak Bungalow Square.

According to Federation leader Jha, drivers of CNG town buses remained off the roads as their drivers and helpers supported the protestors. 

Hundreds of auto-rickshaws and e-rickshaws also joined the protest and stayed off the streets on Friday, affecting daily commuters in the city.

"New laws are are anti-drivers. The BJP government expects poor drivers and helpers to pay a hefty penalty or spend years behind bars. We will protest against it," Shankar Prasad, a protesting truck driver, said.

Thousands of people, including migrant workers, arriving at different railway stations like Patna, Gaya, Hajipur, and Muzaffarpur are facing difficulty in getting buses or other vehicles to reach their native villages due to the strike.

However, Bihar Motor Transport Federation's president, Uday Shankar Singh, said they have not joined the strike in view of ongoing examination of Class 10th and 12th.

In early January, the Bihar Motor Transport Federation was part of the strike.

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