Across states including Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, truck drivers are protesting against the proposed harsh punishment under Bhartiya Nyay Sanhita. The punishment for hit-and-run cases has been significantly increased from the previous two years under the IPC, under the new law. People are queuing up at petrol pumps in panic due to the protest. The home ministry is scheduled to hold a meeting with truckers’ representatives.
The truck drivers’ strike has been ongoing since Monday, which has led to traffic disruptions, shortages in LPG cylinders, delays in public transport, and much more.
Congress party chief Mallikarjun Kharge came out in support of the protesting truck drivers and accused the government of “penalizing the poor” while stalling investment in the infrastructure sector. The Centre held talks with the All-India Motor Transport Congress AIMTC chief Amrit Lal Madan urged the truck drivers to call off their strike, after holding a meeting with Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, and assured them that the stringent provisions would not be imposed for now.
Impact of the strike
There was a significant drop in the supply of essential items like fuel, fruits, vegetables, and medicines in Uttar Pradesh. Deliveries of medicines from Delhi and Maharashtra have been disrupted too. Lucknow petrol pumps experienced a surge in demand and the stocks are expected to last only till Wednesday. More than 4000 buses stayed idle which impacted the city transport with essential supplies witnessing a deep decline. The wholesale market in Mumbai also witnessed a decrease in supplies. In Rajasthan, tourists and passengers faced significant challenges as 20% of petrol pumps were reported dry. Many buses were delayed in Jaipur. Punjab’s home secretary Gurkirat Kirpal Singh reassured the public of sufficient fuel stocks.
Bal Malkit Singh, Chairman of the core committee of All India Motor Transport Congress said, “We have conveyed your concerns to the government. The law has not been put into force yet and I assure you that we will not let this law come into force. We appeal to you to go back to your vehicles and start driving without any fears”
By: Gursharan Kaur