Truck and bus drivers

1. Widespread demonstrations by truck and bus drivers across states.
2. Drivers express discontent with stringent hit-and-run provisions in the new penal code.
3. The updated law imposes up to 10 years of imprisonment for fleeing accident scenes without reporting.

New Delhi, Jan 02: A widespread wave of protests has surged across various states as truck and bus drivers voice their discontent with the stringent provisions related to hit-and-run incidents in the new penal law.

The criminal code, which supersedes the British-era Indian Penal Code (IPC), imposes severe penalties, including up to 10 years of imprisonment, for fleeing an accident scene without reporting the incident.

Maharashtra: “Rasta Roko” Protests Disrupt Traffic and Raise Fuel Shortage Concerns

Truck drivers in Maharashtra initiated “rasta roko” protests at various locations to oppose the hit-and-run provision in the new penal law. This led to concerns about potential fuel shortages in certain areas.

Incidents included the blocking of traffic on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Highway in the Mira Bhayandar area, where drivers threw stones at the police, resulting in injuries to an officer. Stone pelting damaged a police vehicle, and roads were blocked in Solapur, Kolhapur, Nagpur, and Gondia districts. The situation remains tense in Navi Mumbai and other regions.

Chhattisgarh: Commuters Stranded as Drivers Halt Work and Stage Protests

Commercial bus drivers and truckers in Chhattisgarh suspended their work and staged protests, demanding the withdrawal of the hit-and-run provision in the new penal law. Over 12,000 private bus drivers announced a strike, leaving hundreds of commuters stranded in cities like Raipur, Bilaspur, Durg, and Rajnandgaon.

The strike also sparked fears of fuel supply disruptions, prompting people to queue up at petrol pumps. The protests inconvenienced many commuters who sought alternative travel arrangements.

West Bengal: Blockade on National Highway as Truckers Protest New Penal Laws

In West Bengal, hundreds of truck and commercial vehicle drivers took to the streets, blocking National Highway 2 near Dankuni toll plaza to protest the new penal laws related to hit-and-run cases.

The blockade, which lasted for approximately two hours, disrupted traffic and led to police intervention. The protesters, burning tires and positioning their vehicles in the middle of the road, sought to express their opposition to the new regulations.

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Punjab: Commercial Vehicles Stay Off Roads in Protest

A significant number of commercial vehicles, including trucks and buses, refrained from operating across Punjab as part of the protest against the new hit-and-run law.

Truck drivers initiated a demonstration on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur Road in Moga, causing traffic disruptions. Protesters, including drivers associated with Punjab Roadways, Punjab Road Transport Corporation (PRTC), and private bus companies, gathered at the Shambhu border near Ambala, obstructing the movement of trucks.

Madhya Pradesh: Agitation in Bhopal Leads to Road Blockades and Fuel Supply Fears

In Bhopal, drivers staged an agitation at Lalghati, disrupting city buses and vehicles. Protesters also gathered at Board Office Square in MP Nagar. Road blockades occurred in various parts of the state due to the protests, causing long queues at petrol pumps as residents feared potential fuel supply disruptions in different cities.

In Indore, buses were strategically parked at Gangwal bus stand as part of the ongoing demonstration.

The unified protests by truck and bus drivers across multiple states underscore the widespread dissatisfaction with the newly implemented hit-and-run provisions, prompting concerns about transportation disruptions, fuel shortages, and commuter inconvenience.

The situation remains dynamic as authorities grapple with the challenge of addressing the grievances while ensuring the smooth flow of essential services.