GUWAHATI, January 05: in a significant development, the All Assam Day-Night Super Bus Drivers’ Union has declared a 48-hour suspension of bus services across the state in response to the recently implemented Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita 2023. This move, set for January 5th and 6th, 2024, aims to pressure the government to reconsider the controversial provisions of the new law, especially those related to hit-and-run cases.
The key point of contention revolves around the stringent nature of the law, which categorizes causing death by rash and negligent driving as a non-bailable offense. The provision further empowers authorities to arrest drivers without a warrant or court permission. Rupam Dutta, an adviser to the union, voiced concerns about the potential impact on drivers’ families if they were to be incarcerated before any court conviction. This, he argues, could severely demotivate drivers, raising questions about their ability to sustain their families under such circumstances.
The transport industry, already grappling with a shortage of drivers, fears that these new provisions may exacerbate the problem, leading to disruptions in supply chains. The union is urging the government to reconsider the legislation, emphasizing the need for incorporating industry perspectives in the decision-making process.
If the government fails to address the union’s concerns and revoke the controversial act, the All Assam Day-Night (P) Super Bus Driver Union has threatened to permanently cease commercial vehicle operations following the 48-hour strike. Such a move could have far-reaching consequences, affecting passenger and freight transportation across the whole North East region.
The situation has garnered attention at the highest levels, with the Union Home Secretary scheduled to meet protesting truckers in the evening. Truck drivers, too, have been expressing their opposition to the new hit-and-run laws. The collective unrest among transport workers indicates a critical juncture for the industry, with potential implications for the economy and daily life in Assam and the broader North East region. The outcome of these protests and negotiations will likely shape the future landscape of transportation regulations in the region.