Daily commuters felt the heat as private bus operators went on one-day strike here on Saturday. The strike was observed to protest against the registration of a 'false case' of molestation against a conductor of the New Deep bus company. The company is owned by Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader and Gidderbaha halqa in-charge Hardeep Singh alias Dimpy Dhillon.
The alleged molestation incident took place on Wednesday and the police registered a case against the conductor on Friday when leaders of the Punjab Students Union (PSU) and Naujwan Bharat Sabha brought the incident to the notice of the media.
A passenger, Naveen, who works in a private company at Ludhiana said, "Due to the strike, there was a huge rush of passengers at the bus terminals and government buses were not enough to carry them all. I could not reach my and had to apply for leave from office. There were many others like me."
Students, especially girls, missed their classes and attendance was much less in the local college here. Sandeep Kaur, a BA part two student, said, "I came here in the morning but now I am finding it difficult to get a bus."
Punjab Roadways buses were packed to full with passengers sitting on roofs as well in the scorching heat. Drivers and conductors of private buses blocked the Sangrur-Patiala road near Faguwal village, ITI Chowk and Sunam.