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Truckers’ union chief,others denied bail

A city court on Monday rejected bail applications of All India Motor Transport Congress president Charan Singh Lohara and five others,as the transporters called off their strike later in the evening.

Published: January 13, 2009 3:17:17 am

A city court on Monday rejected bail applications of All India Motor Transport Congress (AIMTC) president Charan Singh Lohara and five others,as the transporters called off their strike later in the evening.

Lohara,along with AIMTC secretary S Venugopal,the association’s past president O P Aggarwal and three other members were arrested on Friday by a special team of Delhi Police under the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA). The police had later detained them under the National Securities Act.

While seeking bail,the defence counsel contended that all six had been falsely implicated by the police. “There is no evidence to suggest that those arrested were participating in the strike. They were detained just for being office-bearers of the AIMTC,” the counsel said.

The defence counsel also told the court that the accused had been under custody since Saturday and were not required for any further investigation. The counsel submitted that since the accused were not government employees,the conditions of ESMA or HESMA were not applicable in the case. But denying them bail,Metropolitan Magistrate Deepak Dabas observed,“The accused are instrumental in organising the strike and,hence,disrupting the movement of essential services to the public.”

The six have been sent to remand till January 24.

The AIMTC had called the nationwide strike of transporters on January 4. Among the truckers’ demands were putting diesel in the category ‘declared goods’,unrestricted import of tyres,and a single national permit. The strike reportedly led to a rise in prices of essential commodities between 10 and 15 per cent in various parts of the country.

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