Bus strikes on two major routes hit passengers

Kannur route strike unannounced

Long-distance passengers had to bear the brunt of a strike called by private bus staff on two major routes that linked Kozhikode town with its northern side and the neighbouring Kannur district, on Tuesday. While the strike on the Kozhikode-Kuttiyadi route had been announced earlier, it was a flash agitation on the Kozhikode-Kannur route. Both were total as most of the private buses on the routes kept off the road.

On Kuttiyadi route

A joint committee of bus employees’ unions had called for the strike on the Kozhikode-Kuttiyadi route in protest against the delay in arresting a bike rider who allegedly roughed up a bus driver at Chalikkara on Saturday evening. It had been alleged that the vehicle was waylaid and Vipin, the driver, was beaten up and the vehicle key snatched away. Union leaders claimed that though talks were held with the Perambra Circle Inspector of Police, the culprit had not been caught.

Long-distance buses on the Kozhikode-Kannur route did not ply on the road in protest against the arrest of three employees of a private bus on Monday. It had been alleged that the Vadakara police arrested Mridul, the driver of a private bus, Amal, its conductor, and Babu, a passenger guide.

The bus was reportedly parked at the Vadakara bus stand for longer than required and it led to an altercation between a policeman posted there and the bus staff. A video of the incident was later forwarded to senior police officials and all the three were arrested on the charge of obstructing a government servant from discharging his duties and produced in court. They were remanded in judicial custody for two weeks. This sparked off protest from the staff of other private buses, some of whom began a strike on Monday night itself. By Tuesday evening, others too joined them.

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