Autorickshaw drivers, under the aegis of the CITU, held up traffic at the old Jail Road stopping all the passing-by autorickshaws demanding that the police, RTC, and RTA stop registering cases against them.

Autorickshaw drivers brought traffic to a standstill near the old Jail Road and later caused a major traffic jam all the way up to the Collectorate apart from laying a siege to the office of the Regional Manager of the APSRTC here on Tuesday. They were protesting against ‘harassment’ by police, RTC, and RTA officials.

Autorickshaw drivers, under the aegis of the CITU, held up traffic at the old Jail Road stopping all the passing-by autorickshaws demanding that the police, RTC, and RTA stop registering cases against them.

The police were harassing autorickshaw drivers without even considering the fact that they were serving commuters in the city, Visakha Autorickshaw Karmika Sangham secretary K. Appalaraju said.

Many unemployed youth were driving autorickshaws to earn a square meal, he said and added that it was ridiculous to blame autorickshaw drivers for the RTC losses. Later, the protestors took out a rally of over 150 autorickshaws to the Collectorate via Jagadamba Junction creating a major traffic jam.

They demanded that the cases registered against autorickshaw drivers at Gopalapatnam last week be withdrawn immediately and threatened to intensify their agitation.

Rally taken out

In another protest, organised by Visakhapatnam District Autorickshaw Workers’ Union (VDAWU), affiliated to AITUC, a large number of autorickshaw drivers took out a rally from the Mahatma Gandhi statue opposite GVMC office to the office of the Regional Manager of the RTC.

They also laid a siege to the RM’s office demanding that the police, RTC, and RTA officials stop harassing them.

The prices of essentials were shooting up and it was becoming difficult for autorickshaw drivers to earn a living wage, VDAWU general secretary N. K. Rahman said and demanded that the government take steps to link earnings of autorickshaw drivers to inflation.

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