Thursday, July 20, 2023

Autorickshaw Unions' Rampage: A Menace To Bengaluru's Law And Order*

Bengaluru recently witnessed an alarming spectacle of lawlessness and a blatant disregard for public safety at the hands of autorickshaw drivers affiliated with unions. Unleashing chaos upon the city streets, these drivers crossed all boundaries by orchestrating a violent assault on the Rapido office, while also wreaking havoc on autorickshaws. Shockingly, they brazenly documented their acts of destruction on social media, flaunting their criminal behavior for the world to see. This audacious incident took place during broad daylight, right in the heart of a bustling market, shedding light on the dangerous extremes these drivers are willing to go to safeguard their outdated monopoly and quash any semblance of competition.

The catalyst for this abhorrent display of violence was Rapido's noble initiative to enhance passenger safety by installing seat belts in their autorickshaws. Rather than appreciating and supporting this commendable endeavor to protect the lives of riders and passengers, the autorickshaw unions responded with a disturbing outburst of anger and hostility. Stubbornly clinging to their archaic ways, they view any change or alternative as an existential threat to their livelihood, callously disregarding the evolving demands of the city's residents.

The autorickshaw unions have long harbored resentment towards the burgeoning popularity of bike-taxis in Bengaluru. Driven by their unwarranted fear of losing market share, these unions consistently exhibit audacity and a complete disregard for law and order. They obstinately oppose any form of competition, even when presented with alternative transportation modes that offer regulated, convenient, and affordable services to the public. This blatant prioritization of their own self-interests over the well-being and convenience of the city's commuters is deeply disheartening.

Following the assault, a petitioner by the name of Mr. Reddy Prasad lodged a formal complaint at the HSR Layout police station stating that the company was doing a csr program on road safety with auto drivers who operate on our App. As part of that initiative, we were distributing seat belts, rain curtains for autos and charging points. During the activity few members of bangalore sarathi sene auto union, forcefully entered the campaign activity and started threatening the company employees. The employees were beaten and threatened for life. Thereafter the said mob of auto union stole the seat belts, auto side curtains and chargers from our employees custody.

Astonishingly, the attackers not only vandalized autorickshaw property but also shamelessly looted side curtains and seat belts, all while displaying a complete disregard for the repercussions of their actions. To compound the situation, they boldly showcased their deeds on social media platforms, brazenly challenging the authority of the police and the rule of law.

This incident marks yet another instance where autorickshaw drivers have taken the law into their own hands in Bengaluru. Despite the incident being live-streamed and ample evidence being available, the police have inexplicably failed to take swift action against the perpetrators. The concerning delay of 24 hours in apprehending those responsible casts serious doubts on the commitment of law enforcement agencies to maintaining law and order in the city.

The recent attack by autorickshaw drivers in Bengaluru represents a perilous trend of lawlessness and intimidation. Motivated by their fear of competition and an unwavering desire to maintain their dominance, these drivers pose a significant threat to the safety and progress of the city. It is imperative that the authorities swiftly and decisively respond to these acts of violence, ensuring that they are met with the full force of justice. The people of Bengaluru deserve a safe and efficient public transportation system that places their well-being above the narrow interests of a few unruly individuals.

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