Drivers of the Bus Rapid Transit System service in Rajkot city went on a flash strike on Sunday after a few of them were allegedly beaten up by public and their buses damaged on Saturday evening. The drivers did not report for duty on Sunday morning demanding they first be assured of their safety. The strike was triggered by a minor accident at Umiya Chowk at around 9 pm on Saturday.
Officers of Rajkot Rajpath Limited (RRL),a special purpose vehicle of Rajkot Municipal Corporation,which runs the service,tried to persuade the drivers to resume operations. Meanwhile,buses remained off road till late Sunday evening.
A BRTS bus hit a motorcyclist and knocked him down. However,he was not injured nor the motorcycle damaged. But a crowd gathered and pelted stones at three subsequent buses and beat up their drivers, Chirag Pandya,RRL General Manager,said on Sunday.
However,Mateshwari Transport,an Ahmedabad-based travel firm which operates the service,claimed five buses were vandalised.
Glasses of five buses were broken in the stone-pelting and five drivers were beaten up. This is the fourth such incident since the service was launched in January 2012. Drivers are apprehensive about their safety, said Yashwant Tak,owner of Mateshwari Transport.
Tak added they were in the process of lodging a police complaint in connection with the incident on Saturday and they would hold talks with RRL management for the safety of drivers.