The government has canceled the nationwide truckers’ strike, promising to engage all relevant parties before enacting a controversial anti-hit-and-run law. The All-India Motor Transport Congress decided to end the agitation after extensive negotiations with the administration.
“We had a discussion with All India Motor Transport Congress representatives… the government wants to say that the new rule has not been implemented yet. We all want to say that before implementing Bharatiya Nyaya Samhita 106/2, we will have a discussion with All India Motor Transport Congress representatives and then only we will take a decision,” Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla averred this evening.
“The new laws have not been implemented. It will be implemented only after consultation with All India Transport Congress,” verified Bal Malkit, the chairman of the AIMTC’s core committee.
The Bharatiya Nyaya Samhita, or BNS, is scheduled to replace the Indian Penal Code from the colonial era. Section 106(2) of BNS was the subject of the protest. Fearing a shortage of fuel and other necessities, the truckers had vowed to call for an all-India strike.
Jammu and Kashmir, Bihar, Punjab, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh were among the states where the protests have extended.
The previous rule only allowed for a two-year jail sentence and a smaller punishment in hit-and-run cases. The new law increases the maximum sentence to 10 years in prison and a fine of ₹ 7 lakh. When someone drives recklessly and causes a fatality, they can be sentenced to a maximum of ten years in prison and can leave the scene without calling the police.
Truckers, taxi drivers, and other commercial vehicle operators wonder how they would be able to afford such a high fine in the event of an accident.