Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sep 28:
All Odisha Private Bus Owners’ Association (AOPBOA) today reiterated its earlier announced decision to hold a 24-hour bus strike in the state beginning tomorrow at 6.30 AM in protest against the arrest of the owner of the ill-fated bus ‘Maharaja’ which skidded off the bridge at Puruna Manitri near Athmallick killing 19 passengers and leaving over 50 injured.
“As earlier announced, we will hold a 24-hour bus strike from tomorrow. Around 18,000 buses will stop plying across the state from 6.30 AM tomorrow till 6 AM the next day in protest against the arrest of the owner of the ill-fated bus ‘Maharaja’ which met with an accident near Athmallick,” informed Debendra Sahu, general secretary of AOPBOA sealing to reporters here today.
AOPBOA had on Sunday announced to hold a 24-hour token strike on September 29 beginning at 6.30 AM on September 29 till 6AM next day to put pressure on the government for withdrawal of police case against Rishav Tripathy, the owner of the ill-fated bus-Maharaja.
The private bus operators’ body had also threatened to go on indefinite bus strike in the state beginning October 7 if the government fails to withdraw the case against Tripathy.
On Monday, a delegation of the AOPBOA had met Transport Minister Ramesh Majhi demanding the immediate release of Tripathy and withdrawal of case registered against him.
The delegation had claimed that all papers of the ill-fated bus were valid and hence there was no ground for arresting Tripathy as he was at no fault for the bus meeting with an accident.
Transport Minister Majhi had played safe by throwing the ball into the Home department’s court by informing the delegation that Tripathy has not been arrested under the MV Act adding that steps will be taken after the matter is discussed with the Home department.