Auto drivers' leaders attempt suicide over low hike

Auto drivers' leaders attempt suicide over low hike

The protesters were caned and arrested by the police.
Police resorted to lathicharge when about 15 activists doused themselves with kerosene and threatened to end their lives.

Faced with the resistance by the police, the protesters ran helter-skelter resulting in a brief stampede in which more than 30 activists were injured.
Accusing KRV activists of entering the DC office without mandatory permission, Ulsoorgate Sub Division ACP Gachinakatti said the protesters were caned only when they attempted suicide and tried to assault the policemen.

“Cases of attempt to suicide, trespassing, assaulting policemen and staging protest without permission have been booked against 60 activists,” Gachinakatti told Deccan Herald.

Injured activists were taken to Nimhans, where Deputy Superintendent of Police, Karnataka State Human Rights Commission, Shivamurthy visited them.

Drivers differ with unions
Autorickshaw unions in the City may be up in arms against the decision of the Government to hike minimum fare to Rs 17 and Rs 8.50 for every km thereafter, but many autodrivers have welcomed the decision.

When Deccan Herald spoke to autorickshaw drivers who are not members of or affiliated to any union, they said any further hike would take away business from autorickshaws and force them to look for alternative means for sustenance.
An auto driver, who did not wish to be named, felt the revised auto fare announced by the Deputy Commissioner was “okay for the present”, even though it did not meet the expectations of most unions.

‘Issue politicised’
“Unions have a tendency to politicise issues. Many poor auto drivers are struggling to make ends meet and this hike will not burden the passengers and we will still be in business,” he said.

Seconding the opinion, another driver Shankarappa Gowda, said passengers will hesitate to board autos if the demand of auto unions is accepted. “Nobody will be willing to pay Rs 20 as minimum fare.  We will lose passengers to BMTC Volvo buses and private cabs, that offer air-conditioned transport at decent fares,” he said.
DH News Service

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