Union Home Secy Ajay Bhalla to Meet AITC Reps Today at 7 pm
Union Home Secy Ajay Bhalla to Meet AITC Reps Today at 7 pm

NEW DELHI: Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla is set to convene a meeting with the representatives of the All India Transport Congress (AITC) in New Delhi today at 7 PM. This meeting comes amidst an ongoing nationwide strike by drivers and truckers against the new stringent hit-and-run provision introduced in the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita.

What's Triggering the Truck Drivers' Protests?

Previously, hit-and-run cases fell under various sections of the IPC, carrying a maximum punishment of two years. However, the revised Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita now stipulates a penalty of up to 10 years for drivers causing serious road accidents through negligent hit-and-run, failing to inform the police or any administrative official. The amended law outlines a 10-year jail term and a fine of Rs. 7 lakh for hit-and-run incidents.

Truck drivers participating in the protests argue that this alteration will have severe implications for them, dissuading individuals from pursuing this profession to earn a livelihood.

The All India Transporters' Welfare Association (AITWA), a prominent body representing the transportation and logistics sector, expressed concerns, stating, "We've engaged with the Home Ministry, Transport Ministry, and other relevant departments, yet several critical issues remain unresolved, fueling the ongoing agitation. While acknowledging the law's potential benefits, we foresee substantial on-ground harassment, extortion, unwarranted detentions, and legal ramifications."

The truckers' union also revealed that bus drivers are joining the strike to emphasize the challenges the new laws pose to motorists.

What Are the Striking Truck Drivers Demanding?

AITWA demands the formation of a joint committee to review these stringent provisions to ensure that drivers are not subjected to harsh actions. They stress the importance of instilling confidence in drivers that they won't face severe consequences.

Impact of the Strike

Since January 1, protesting truck drivers have blockaded roads and highways in several states including Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, and Rajasthan. Consequently, this action has disrupted vehicular movement and fuel supplies.

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