Three autorickshaw drivers were arrested in Koyambedu on Saturday morning for damaging a trailer lorry hired by the State transport department to ferry impounded autorickshaws.
Around 40 other autorickshaw drivers were also arrested for staging a road-roko condemning the seizure of autorickshaws by Regional Transport Officers (RTO). They were later released.
From Friday evening, the transport department had started using trailer lorries to carry autorickshaws impounded for charging excess fares and not having proper meters. On Saturday morning, RTOs from Anna Nagar and Aynavaram were conducting checks on 100 Feet Road near Chennai Moffusil Bus Terminus.
“We started checking at 7 a.m. and by 8.15 a.m., we had seized five autorickshaws and transferred them onto the lorry. When we were checking the sixth vehicle, a group of drivers started protesting,” said Sridhar, Aynavaram RTO.
Three of the drivers, identified as Annadurai, Mohandas and Selvam, threw stones and damaged the window panes of the lorry. Around 40 drivers then staged a road roko. “We received information from the control room and rushed to the spot. We arrested the protestors and later released them. But the three who damaged the lorry and prevented the government officials from carrying out their duty have been remanded,” said Sam Vincent, law and order inspector, attached to CMBT police station.
A senior police officer said the transport department could seek police assistance before conducting such checks. “If autorickshaw drivers spot a policeman, they will not think of protesting,” he said.