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Protests by Truckers Over New Hit-And-Run Law Lead to Fuel Pump Rush

Demonstrations have erupted in various states, including Bihar, Punjab, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh.

Fuel stations in multiple states are experiencing prolonged queues in recent days, not due to an anticipation of rising prices, but rather due to panic buying prompted by concerns over the truckers’ protest against an upcoming criminal code. This apprehension is rooted in fears that the ongoing protest could disrupt the supply chain, impacting the availability of essential commodities.

The truckers’ protests have erupted in various states, including Bihar, Punjab, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh. The demonstrations are in response to the high penalties outlined in the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita for hit-and-run accidents, which is set to replace the colonial-era Indian Penal Code.

Under the new law, individuals involved in hit-and-run cases could face up to 10 years in jail and a fine of ₹7 lakh. Commercial vehicle operators, including truckers and cab drivers, are expressing concerns about their ability to pay such hefty fines in case of an accident. This has led to widespread protests, with truckers deeming the new law as detrimental to their livelihoods.

The impact of the protest is already affecting the supply lines, especially for fuel. Tanker drivers participating in the protest are disrupting the transportation of fuel to pumps, leading to a fuel crisis in several cities. Petrol pump dealers in Aurangabad have warned that fuel pumps in the district may run dry soon.

The truckers’ strike is not only affecting fuel supply but also causing disruptions in various sectors. In Himachal Pradesh, the tourism sector is already feeling the brunt of the strike as cab operators have joined the protest against the new law.

Protests have taken a violent turn in different regions, with road blockades, attacks on law enforcement, and clashes reported. The situation is creating significant challenges for commuters, and the fear of a prolonged strike is raising concerns about potential shortages of essential goods.

The truckers’ protest underscores the broader issue of discontent with the penalties outlined in the new law, with many arguing that the financial burden imposed on drivers is unjust and could have severe consequences for their livelihoods. The situation remains tense, with both sides standing firm on their positions, and the potential for a resolution remains uncertain.

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