Transport operators freed on compliance promise

Detained committee members agreed that ‘we fully support and have faith in the government’s initiative of dismantling syndicate in the transport sector’

May 7, 2018-Top office bearers of bus operators’ committees, detained as part of the government’s crackdown on public transport syndicates, were released on Sunday after they committed in writing to complying with the laws and the government’s policies.

The representatives from the Federation of Nepalese National Transport Entrepreneurs (FNNTE), which has been on the forefront of protests against the government’s move to dismantle syndicates in the transport sector, had agreed not to disrupt their services.

A group of top FNNTE office bearers, who were arrested on Saturday evening from Kathmandu, signed the commitment paper before their release. A team of the Metropolitan Police Crime Division had rounded up FNNTE President Yogendraman Karmacharya, Vice-president Vijay Swar, Deputy General Secretary Basant Bhandari, Province 3 organisation coordinator Dharma Raj Dhimal and Treasurer Kiran Khadka from New Baneshwor for their involvement in obstructing the essential public transport service. FNNTE General Secretary Saroj Sitaula was nabbed from Bhrikuti Mandap on Friday, the day they went on a nationwide transport strike.All of them were released only after they withdrew their protests as the government refused to free them without a written commitment.

Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa had directed all the District Administration Offices not to free those in custody without a vow not to disrupt transport services again.“We fully support and have faith in the Nepal government’s initiative of dismantling syndicate in the transport sector. Neither we nor our businesses will operate against the laws, policies and decisions of the government. Nor will we encourage anyone to do any work against the laws and government policies,” read the agreement signed at the District Administration Office in Kathmandu.

“Now onwards, we and other transport entrepreneurs will conduct our businesses after legal registration,” the FNNTE representatives pledged. After the government decided to outlaw transport committees and their associations, transport firms have been directed to register as companies. According to Home Ministry Spokesperson Ram Krishna Subedi, more than 100 transport committee members were arrested from different parts of the country on Friday and Saturday. Several of them were released separately on Sunday after they had signed commitment papers.

Published: 07-05-2018 07:46

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