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New hit and run law: Drivers block highways in North district, BMS protest at Teliamura


BY TC News Desk

Agartala, 3rd January 2023: Several drivers in North Tripura district joined the nationwide protest against the new Motor Vehicle Act Hit and Run Bill, which was introduced by the central government in the Parliament recently. The bill proposes a hefty fine of 7 lakh rupees and a jail term of 10 years for drivers involved in hit and run cases.

The drivers staged a chakka jam (wheel jam) on Assam Agartala National Highway No. 8 at various places in Dharmanagar and Panisagar sub-divisions, demanding the repeal of the bill. They said that the bill was unfair and would make their lives miserable.

The protest started on Wednesday from 8 AM at Chamtilla of Panisagar sub-division, where the drivers blocked the traffic for four hours. The local police intervened and persuaded the drivers to withdraw their blockade temporarily.

Meanwhile, another group of drivers under the banner of North District All Drivers Welfare Association held a demonstration at Churaibari, the gateway to the state, under Dharmanagar subdivision. They also blocked the highway for an hour.

In addition, e-rickshaw, auto and bus drivers participated in a dharna (sit-in) and a protest rally at Kadamtala traffic point from 11 am to 12 pm, organized by Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh. They warned that they would continue their agitation until the Central Government withdraws the bill.

The protest of the drivers has affected the movement of vehicles from outside the state, which may lead to a rise in the prices and a shortage of essential commodities. The protest also poses a challenge for the central government ahead of the Lok Sabha elections.

On the other hand, hundreds of vehicles were stranded on the Assam-Agartala National Highway on Wednesday morning, as workers of the BMS staged a protest against the central government’s decision to pass the ‘Hit and Run Bill 2023’. The bill, which aims to reduce road accidents and fatalities, has been opposed by many transport unions and workers, who claim that it is unfair and impractical.

The protesters blocked the highway at Ampi Chowmuhani area, causing inconvenience to drivers and passengers of small and big vehicles alike. Some of the drivers were seen arguing with the protesters in front of the news media cameras. The protesters demanded that the government withdraw the bill immediately, or else they would intensify their agitation.

The Teliamura police station staff arrived at the spot and tried to clear the blockade and restore normal traffic. However, the protest was not limited to Teliamura, as similar demonstrations were reported from different parts of the state since Wednesday morning. In some places, the protesters staged sit-ins, while in others, they blocked roads and highways. The BMS workers said that they would continue their protest until the government listens to their demands and scraps the bill.

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