New ‘hit-and-run’ Law row: Odisha drivers’ outfit continues its agitation as before

Bhubaneswar: Amid widespread protests across India over the recently enacted ‘hit-and-run’ Law under the Bharatiya Nyay Sanhita (BNS), Odisha Drivers’ Mahasangh today announced that its State-wide agitation for an indefinite period demanding immediate withdrawal of the law will continue as before.

This came close on the heels of when the Transport Commissioner-Odisha Amitabh Thakur informed that the strike has been called off.

“Discussions are still underway with both the State and Central governments. The stir will continue as our demands have not been met,” the outfit president Prashant Menduli clarified.

“We discussed with the State government only certain points of our demands, but the law has not been revoked. Hence, the ‘quit-steering’ agitation will not be withdrawn,” Menduli added.

“The State-wide agitation of drivers has been called off. Drivers who had joined the strike will resume work in the next two hours and bus services will return to normalcy. The strike was called off after the State government complied with the demands of the protesting drivers. A Drivers’ Welfare Fund has been formed and cheques to be given from the fund will be disbursed,” the Transport Commissioner said earlier in the day while addressing mediapersons.

Worth mentioning, truck operators in several states have launched stirs against the ‘stringent provision’ since Monday. The Mahasangh had extended its support to quit steering.

Previously, there was a provision for imprisonment of two years under Section 304 of the IPC.

Under provisions envisaged in the new law, hit-and-run cases can result in 10 years imprisonment or a fine of Rs 7 lakh under the BNS. Drivers causing accidents and fleeing from the spot without reporting to authorities concerned will face severe penalties, the new law emphasised.

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