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Truck Drivers’ Protest: Implementation of Hit & Run Provision in BNS to Occur Only After Consultations, States Central Government

Truck drivers have concluded their nationwide protest against the proposed hit-and-run provisions in road accident cases after receiving assurances from the government. The government committed to discussing the contentious law with the transport body representing the drivers before its implementation.

The proposed law, suggesting up to ten years of punishment in hit-and-run cases, has not been enforced yet, and the government emphasized that any decision would only be made after consulting with the transport body. Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla stated, “We will implement it only after discussing with the AIMTC,” referring to the All India Motor Transport Congress.

Malkit Singh Bal, Chairman of the truckers’ body’s core committee, confirmed that all issues related to the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita (BNS) had been resolved through discussions, and the new laws would be implemented only after consultation with AIMTC.

Following the agreement between the transport body and the government, truck drivers were urged to resume their work immediately on Tuesday evening. However, some petrol pumps in Lucknow remained closed, displaying “no stock” posters, causing inconvenience to locals.

The nationwide protest, initiated by truck drivers against the provisions of the new criminal law codes regarding hit-and-run accidents, raised concerns about a potential fuel shortage, prompting panic buying. The new provision under the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita introduces penalties for drivers causing deaths by rash and negligent driving, fleeing the scene without reporting the accident, potentially leading to a jail term of up to 10 years or fines. The protest triggered long queues at petrol and diesel pumps across the country on January 2, as people feared an imminent fuel shortage.

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