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Autorickshaw drivers caned in Gulbarga

Special Correspondent
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Trouble started after they hurled stones at police

Hasty retreat:Police going after autorickshaw drivers for pelting stones in Gulbarga on Monday. —Photo: Arun Kulkarni
Hasty retreat:Police going after autorickshaw drivers for pelting stones in Gulbarga on Monday. —Photo: Arun Kulkarni

The police lathi-charged autorickshaw drivers after they were attacked with stones, here on Monday.

The drivers, who were on a day’s strike, were staging a rasta roko outside the Vikasa Soudha.

At least five police personnel were injured in the stone-pelting. Over a dozen auto drivers were taken into custody in connection with the violence that broke out after the lathi-charge.

Trouble broke out when a section of the auto drivers began hurling stones at the police personnel. Several autorickshaw drivers sustained injuries in the lathi-charge.

Senior police officials, including Superintendent of Police N. Satheesh Kumar, visited the spot.

Mr. Kumar said the police maintained restraint despite provocation from auto drivers during their four-hour protest march from the Super Market area to the Deputy Commissioner’s office and then their protest outside the office, and the subsequent rasta roko outside the Vikasa Soudha. They had tried to persuade the drivers to disperse peacefully.

He said leaders of the Autorickshaw Drivers’ Joint Action Committee made provocative speeches against the police. According to an eyewitness, the trouble started after stones were hurled at the police.

The autorickshaw drivers submitted a memorandum, which listed their demands, to the district administration.

Their grouse appears to be against the popular city bus service ‘Nruputunga’, introduced by the North Eastern Karnataka Road Transport Corporation. The drivers feel the bus service has affected their livelihood.

They have also demanded an increase in the number of LPG outlets here.

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