Petrol pumps are packed with vehicles. The vehicle owners and drivers of private/commercial buses and truckers on the second day on Tuesday stopped work and staged protests at several places in Jharkhand demanding the withdrawal of the provision in the new penal law regarding hit-and-run accident cases involving motorists. 

In Jamshedpur, cops had to use force- lathi charge- to contain protests by drivers and owners of over 100 trucks and buses who indulged in ‘road jam at Dimna chowk. 

This jam led to the breakdown of traffic on highways as scores of buses and trucks coming and going to West Bengal and Odisha. The protest by drivers and owners was supported by the Federation of Jharkhand Chamber of Commerce and Industry. 

Notably, Jharkhand is not the only state where protests launched on the first day of 2024 continued for the second day on Tuesday. 

 Reports show that a wave of protests has swept through various states as drivers and truckers express their dissatisfaction with the stringent 'hit-and-run' provisions in the new penal law. 

 People were seen queued up at petrol pumps across states including Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, and Madhya Pradesh, fearing that the agitation may hit fuel supply in the coming days. 

The criminal code law, which repealed the British-era Indian Penal Code (IPC) provides up to 10 years of punishment for fleeing an accident spot and not reporting the incident. 

On the protest by transport associations and drivers against the new law on hit-and-run cases, All India Motor & Goods Transport Association President, Rajendra Kapoor said, "Our only demand from the government is that the decision should have been taken after having consultations with our stakeholders. 

There was no discussion with anyone on this, and no one was asked about it...No protest has been announced by the members of All India Motor & Goods Transport Association...There should be a discussion on this issue. Protest can never lead to a solution. We believe that the government will hold conversations with our members and take a call on this later"

(Inputs credit PTI)

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