Bengaluru cab drivers go on strike at airport after driver who set himself on fire dies

The strike follows the death of Pratap who immolated himself and was allegedly facing financial issues.
Taxi drivers in Bengaluru protesting at the airport over the death of their colleague
Taxi drivers in Bengaluru protesting at the airport over the death of their colleague
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A section of cab drivers who work with app-hailed services like Ola, Uber and government-managed Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) and ferry passengers to and from the Bengaluru airport went on strike on Wednesday. The strike was announced a day after a KSTDC cab driver, Pratap, died of burn injuries that he sustained on Tuesday afternoon when he set himself on fire at the Bengaluru airport's parking area. Pratap was allegedly protesting against the lack of government help over the economic distress caused due to fuel price hike and bad business, since the COVID-19 induced lockdown. He had suffered 70 percent burn injuries, and succumbed.

Many cab drivers gathered at the Bengaluru airport and raised slogans to protest Pratap's death. In view of the strike called by the cab drivers, Bangalore Airport Limited, which operates the Kempegowda International Airport, has issued an advisory asking passengers going to and coming from the airport to either take Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) buses that are made available at the airport, or make alternative arrangements to reach the airport on time. 

“Taxi services at BLR Airport are impacted. Passengers are requested to use the BMTC bus service for travel to and from BLR Airport or make their own travel arrangements,” the advisory issued on Wednesday said. “We will inform you once services are back to normal. For queries, reach us on or 080 2201 2001,” it added.

Pratap's death has sparked protests among cab drivers in the city as well, which could mean some taxi services may be impacted in Bengaluru as well. A section of the drivers on Wednesday morning also staged a protest outside the residence of Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa.

If you are aware of anyone facing mental health issues or feeling suicidal, please provide help. Here are some helpline numbers of suicide-prevention organisations that can offer emotional support to individuals and families.   

Tamil Nadu

State health department's suicide helpline: 104

Sneha Suicide Prevention Centre - 044-24640050 (listed as the sole suicide prevention helpline in Tamil Nadu)

Andhra Pradesh

Life Suicide Prevention: 78930 78930

Roshni: 9166202000, 9127848584


Sahai (24-hour): 080 65000111, 080 65000222


Maithri: 0484 2540530

Chaithram: 0484 2361161

Both are 24-hour helpline numbers.


State government's suicide prevention (tollfree): 104

Roshni: 040 66202000, 6620200

SEVA: 09441778290, 040 27504682 (between 9 am and 7 pm)

Aasara offers support to individuals and families during an emotional crisis, for those dealing with mental health issues and suicidal ideation, and to those undergoing trauma after the suicide of a loved one.    

24x7 Helpline: 9820466726, Click here for working helplines across India.

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