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Transport associations, bus and truck drivers protest against new law on hit-and-run cases that has jail term for 7-10 years

Members of an organisation representing the drivers also staged a protest on the streets of Bhopal at the Board Office intersection.

The Transport Association and drivers staged a protest against the new law on hit-and-run cases in Maharashtra’s Nagpur. The new law attracts a 7-10-year prison sentence for drivers falling foul of it. As a result of this protest, people at petrol pumps faced long queues.

Meanwhile, similar protests over the new hit-and-run law were staged across states. Private bus and truck drivers on Monday enforced a ‘chakka jam’ (traffic jam) across the state of Madhya Pradesh in protest against the new law. Drivers enforced a ‘chakka jam’ on Pithampur Highway in Dhar by putting obstacles on the road.

Members of an organisation representing the drivers also staged a protest on the streets of Bhopal at the Board Office intersection.

Gyansingh Yadav, a cab driver who was also among the protesters on Monday, couldn’t hold back his tears.

“The likes of myself, who drive cabs for a living, could still be home at night. But the truck drivers often don’t get to meet their loved ones for 15 days or more. We are not against any government or law but I feel some amendments should be made, especially about the penal provisions against drivers. The new law attracts a 10-year prison term for errant drivers. I feel it should be reduced to 1-2 years,” Yadav told ANI on Monday.

A similar protest also broke out in the Chhattisgarh capital, Raipur, where bus drivers staged a demonstration against the new central law.

With the buses anchored in their sheds, regular commuters and interstate passengers bore the brunt of the protests.

“We are poor people. Penal action should be taken against the owners of our vehicles. This law is unfair on us and we’ll continue to be on strike till our demands are met,” a bus driver said.

The ongoing strike has impacted the movement of about 1,000 buses across Chhattisgarh.

Under the Bharatiya Nyay Sanhita (BNS), which replaced the Indian Penal Code, drivers who cause a serious road accident by negligent driving and run away without informing the police or any official from the administration can face punishment of up to 10 years or a fine of Rs7 lakh. Earlier, the punishment in such cases was two years in the IPC.

In the Winter Session of Parliament, the Union Government passed the Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita, 2023, the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha (Second) Sanhita, 2023 and the Bharatiya Sakshya (Second) Bill, 2023.

Private transport operators claim the law discourages drivers and may lead to unjust punishments. They claim that the drivers could be subject to mob violence when they attempt to transport the injured to hospitals and demand the repeal of the law.

(This news report is published from a syndicated feed. Except for the headline, the content has not been written or edited by OpIndia staff)

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