National Auto-Taxi-Bus Transport Federation President Baba Kamble on Tuesday held a press conference in Pune, vehemently opposing the new law regarding hit-and-run incidents.
Under the Bharatiya Nyay Sanhita (BNS), which replaced the Indian Penal Code (IPC), drivers causing serious accidents due to negligence and fleeing the scene face a punishment of up to 10 years or a ₹7 lakh fine. Earlier, the punishment in such cases was two years.
Addressing the media, Kamble expressed concerns, stating, "The future of over 25 crore drivers and vehicle owners is at stake due to this new law. This 'black law' should be repealed."
He announced plans to honour Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar's statues in Pune and Pimpri before heading to Delhi, where a demonstration at Jantar Mantar is scheduled.
Kamble also urged the driver community to refrain from vigilantism, stressing the need for a peaceful protest.
"I appeal to the drivers' community participating in the protest to maintain a peaceful and orderly demonstration," he emphasised, highlighting the significance of dialogue with the government to address their grievances and the importance of refraining from taking the law into their own hands.
Fuel frenzy in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad
On Tuesday, long queues formed at petrol pumps in Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad as residents rushed to refill their vehicle tanks, fearing an impending fuel shortage. This surge in demand was prompted by ongoing protests by truck drivers against a provision in the new penal law related to hit-and-run accident cases involving motorists.
Despite these concerns, Ali Daruwala, spokesperson for the All India Petrol Dealers Association, reassured the public that all petrol pumps would continue to operate smoothly and cater to the fuel needs despite the ongoing stir.