A wave of protests swept through various states as drivers and truckers express their dissatisfaction with stringent ‘hit-and-run’ provision in the new penal law.
The criminal code law, which repealed the British-era Indian Penal Code (IPC) provides up to 10 years of punishment for fleeing an accident spot and not reporting the incident.
Truck drivers staged “rasta roko” protests at many places in Maharashtra on Monday against the provision in the new penal law regarding hit-and-run road accident cases involving motorists.
The protests raised the spectre of a shortage of fuel in some places.
As per officials, truck drivers briefly blocked traffic on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad Highway in the Mira Bhayandar area in Thane district and threw stones at cops, leaving a policeman injured. A police vehicle was damaged by stone pelting.
Roads were also blocked in Solapur, Kolhapur, Nagpur and Gondia districts, officials said, adding that the situation in Navi Mumbai and other places is under control.
Drivers of commercial buses and truckers on Monday stopped work and staged protests at several places in Chhattisgarh demanding the withdrawal of the provision in the new penal law regarding hit-and-run accident cases involving motorists.
More than 12,000 private bus drivers across the state announced a strike on Monday, leaving hundreds of commuters stranded at bus stations in Raipur, Bilaspur, Durg, and Rajnandgaon among other cities.
People queued up at petrol pumps in various cities fearing that the agitation may hit fuel supply in coming days.
The protests caused inconvenience to several commuters as stranded people were seen trying to make alternative travel arrangements.
Hundreds of truck and commercial vehicle drivers protesting the new penal laws for hit-and-run cases blocked the national highway number 2 near Dankuni toll plaza in West Bengal’s Hooghly district on Sunday for around two hours, the police said.
According to the police, the agitators started blocking the road at around 10:30 am at Chanditala by burning tyres and parking their vehicles in the middle of the road.
Senior police officers from Chanditala and Dankuni police stations rushed to the spot to persuade truck drivers to lift the blockade.
Police cleared the road blockade and movement of vehicles started at 1:50 pm, an officer said.
A significant number of commercial vehicles, including trucks and buses, refrained from operating across Punjab on Monday to protest against the new law related to hit-and-run cases.
Truck drivers initiated a protest on the Ludhiana-Ferozepur Road in Moga, disrupting traffic. As per transporters, truck drivers have also assembled at the Shambhu border near Ambala, obstructing the movement of trucks.
According to media reports, protesters are garnering support from drivers associated with Punjab Roadways, Punjab Road Transport Corporation (PRTC), and private bus companies.
In Bhopal, drivers staged an agitation at Lalghati and stopped city buses and vehicles, and some protesters also gathered at Board Office Square in MP Nagar.
Road blockades were seen in some places in the state due to protests by drivers. Long queues were witnessed at petrol pumps due to panic over fear of disrupted fuel supply in various cities.
In Indore, buses were parked on the road at Gangwal bus stand as part of the protest.