More than 100 activists from the Bangalore Bus Prayaanikara Vedike, who took out a march from Shantinagar bus stand to Transport Minister R. Ramalinga Reddy’s house, in protest against the recent Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) bus fare hike, were detained and taken into preventive custody at Shantinagar bus stand here on Sunday morning. They were later released.
The police said that though the vedike had sought permission for the protest march a week ago, permission had later been denied due to security reasons.
A senior police official said they were forced to take the activists into preventive custody as they tried to lay siege to the house of the Transport Minister. However, the activists alleged police high-handedness. Vinay Sreenivasa of the vedike said that they had been misled by the police who had earlier given them permission to hold the protest march.
He said, “We tried to reach the Minister’s house on a BMTC bus. “Our right to travel on a BMTC bus was curbed by the police,” he added.
The vedike has been running a “50-paise campaign” demanding that bus fares be rationalised and BMTC charge only 50 paise per kilometre of travel.