Taxi operators – BRO men clash has Manali tense

Manali BRO Men ClashManali: Tension prevailed in the tourist township after there was a clash between taxi operators and defense personnel working with Border Roads Organization (BRO) at Marhi yesterday that had taxi owners holding a protest demonstration here today.

Shouting slogans against the police and BRO, the taxi operators demanding the seizure of BRO vehicles and arrest of personnel involved in the incident. They held a protest march from the taxi stand to the police station.

Police had a difficult time to contain the rowdy crowd.

Following the clash yesterday, police arrested three taxi operators Sonam, Virnam and Sonam Tashi by evoking sections 332, 353 and 34 of Indian Penal Code.

On being produced before the local judge the three were remanded to three days judicial custody today.

After the stormy protest, police acted against the BRO men and 6 persons were arrested today and slapped sections 341, 323, 147, 148 and 149 of IPC.

However, the taxi drivers continued to protest and have threatened to cause a complete traffic jam tomorrow should the police not act against more BRO men, who have been accused of assaulting them.

Puran Chand Thakur, president of the local taxi union said, “The police are attempting to hoodwink us by arresting laborers and not the BRO men who had assaulted the taxi operators yesterday.”

“Unless the real culprits are booked we will bring resort to a complete traffic jam of September 12,” he said.

Sanjay Dutta, an engineer by qualification but is a journalist by choice. He has worked for the premier new agency Press Trust of India and leading English daily Indian Express. With more than a decade of experience, he has been highlighting issues related to environment, tourism and other aspects affecting mountain ecology. Sanjay Dutta lives in a village close to Manali in Kullu valley of Himachal.

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