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Kolkata commuters may again miss their taxis Thursday

Posted on Aug 27 2014 | IANS

Kolkata, Aug 27 : Taxis may again go off the roads here Thursday with some drivers' unions calling for a march to the state transport department headquarters in protest against 'police atrocities'.

The march was called by the Communist Party of India-Marxist labour arm Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) affiliated West Bengal Taxi Workers' Union and CPI labour wing All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) loyalists Kolkata Taxi Operators' Union.

"Tomorrow (Thursday), taxi drivers will march to Paribahan Bhavan (state transport department headquarters). Police have asked us to call off the march. They have threatened to declare the march illegal. We accept the challenge thrown by the state government and police," said CITU leader and former minister Anadi Sahu.

He threatened that the state government would have to bear the responsibility if anything untoward happens Thursday.

Taxi drivers pulled out their vehicles from the city roads on five occasions this month by calling wildcat strikes or protest walks as part of their movement against police "excesses".

At the centre of the dispute is the government decision to increase the fine for passenger refusal from Rs.100 to Rs.3,000 to combat repeated complaints of refusals.

The government earlier this month arrested 22 drivers for vandalism as they damaged taxis which did not heed their call and continued plying. They were released on bail after spending four days in jail.

Around 37,000 taxis ply in the city daily.

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