A few members of the Roadways Employees Union were injured when the local police used force to disperse them from the main exit of the bus stand after they had been blocking it for hours and inconveniencing the general public. Some of them were also detained.
The protesters were led by Dalbir Kirmara and were protesting against the alleged unruly behavior by private bus operators.
"The authorities have specified inter-state booths at the bus stand. However, private bus operators put their buses in front of our buses. This is illegal and creates confusion and problem among the commuters," alleged Kirmara, who had ignored repeated pleas by the police to allow smooth flow of traffic. When the police forcibly removed the protesters, some of them were injured.
"There were other union people who were willing to run their buses, however, Kirmara and his men were not letting anyone go by. Besides, people also came to us complaining that they are getting late to reach their destinations. So were forced to drag them off from the road," DSP city Jaipal told HT.
In the morning too, passengers had been inconvenienced after private bus operators had given a strike call society, claiming that the authorities had adopted a discriminatory attitude towards them.
"We also pay taxes. Yet, we face a lot of harassment from the roadway employees who every now and then create hurdles for us by not allowing us to put our buses in the front booths. They think that with general manager on their side they can push us around. We will not let this happen," a member of state executive committee of private bus owners, Sunil Kumar said.
"Who are they to throw us at the back where the place is crowded with stray animals and is inconvenient for passengers too?," he added.
PASSENGERS LAUD POLICE
Lauding the police's role in getting the traffic to move, passengers who had been stuck for hours, said, "These hooligans had blocked the traffic for a long time. The protesters got what they deserved. Now at least we can reach our destinations," said a passenger, not wishing to be named.
"We have been suffering these delays for three days. We work in private companies and have to be in office on time," said Gokul, who had to return to his village 30 km away.
After a couple of hours being detained, Kirmara and his men were released. The private as well as the roadways union were likely to meet the DC soon over the issue.