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Private school transporters on three-day strike from July 11

MANGALURU: A crackdown by Mangaluru city police against vehicles ferrying excess students in violation of High Court order could see private school transporters suspend operations for three-days starting Thursday. This move comes even as city police top brass during the day held talks with DK District School Children Vehicle Drivers’ Association reminding them that action follows HC directive and in interest of student safety.

City police chief Sandeep Patil said Laxmi Ganesh, DCP (Crime and Traffic) and Manjunath Shetty, ACP (Traffic) held meeting with office bearers of the association. “As per law, such (school) vehicles cannot carry excess children. Karnataka HC has also given specific direction that cases should be booked against such vehicles carrying excess children, and is monitoring the action taken,” Patil stated in a communique on Wednesday.

Noting that above points have been brought to notice of the association that they have to follow the law and direction given by the of High Court, Patil said the police brass has urged them to call off the strike so that school children are not put to inconvenience and instead the association follow the rules and help in children’s safety. The HC directive came in wake of fatal accidents involving private vehicles transporting children to schools.

Not impressed with this, the association said police in name of enforcing the law, is literally fleecing drivers of school vehicles. Kiran Ladyhill, general secretary of the association said members of the association will stay away from work on July 11 and stage a mass protest rally in front of the office of deputy commissioner on July 12. The police in the guise of complying with the HC directive is continuously targeting school vehicles, he said.

Claiming that police were booking cases even when children ferried were within permitted numbers, Kiran said police were abusing the drivers. He urged all private school vehicle drivers across the district to participate in the strike as well as the protest rally on Friday. In a related development, schools have sent advisories to parents, informing them about the strike and asking them to make arrangements to drop and pick up their children from schools.

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