After assurance, Punjab private bus operators call off strike

Chandigarh, May 16(IANS) – Thousands of commuters in Punjab faced difficulties on Saturday after private bus operators went on a strike, protesting the haste in registering cases against bus crews. However, the strike was called off in the evening after operators were assured that cases would not be registered without proper investigation.

After assurance, Punjab private bus operators call off strike

Over 4,500 private buses went off the roads on Saturday following the strike call given by the Punjab Motor Union.

We lodged our protest against false cases being registered by police against our drivers and conductors without proper investigation, said the union’s general secretary Rajinder Singh Bajwa.

Commuters faced difficulties as the private buses went off the roads. They had to rely on state-run buses and private modes of transport to reach their destinations.

Following the strike, the bus operators were called for a meeting by the deputy inspector general of police of Bathinda range and were assured that cases would not be registered against bus crews in haste.

The conductor of a private bus was booked by police this week in Muktsar, 210 km from here, after two teenaged sisters alleged that he harassed them and misbehaved with them.

In another case, the driver and conductor of a private bus was booked and arrested recently after a young woman was harassed by a fellow passenger near Sirhind town, 60 km from here. She complained that the bus staff refused to help her.

These incidents happened after a recent incident near Moga where a teenaged girl and her mother were molested and pushed out of a speeding bus owned by Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal’s company, Orbit Aviation. The girl died while the mother was seriously injured.

The incident led to major protests against the Punjab government.

Most private buses and their companies are owned by politicians in Punjab.