The arrested persons were let off on bail following protest and strike by auto drivers’ union.

Kochi Uber-auto tiff continues 31 auto drivers arrested
news Kochi Tuesday, December 20, 2016 - 09:42

The Kochi city police arrested 31 auto drivers for attacking online taxi drivers from both North and South railway stations. 

The arrest was based on a series of complaint by different passengers against the behaviour of auto drivers.

The arrested persons were let off on bail following protest and strike by auto drivers’ union. 

They were charged under several sections including 143, 147, 149, 341, 323, 294 (b) and 506.

In the past few weeks, rift between auto drivers and drivers of online taxi aggregators reached a peak, with many women including noted singer Sayanora calling it out on social media. 

Police have told media that a High Court order permits smooth functioning of online taxi, that they are bound to protect the order.

Though auto drivers claim that they pay a license fee for pick up from Railway stations on an annual basis, the Southern railway authorities have informed that the former has no exclusive rights to pick up passengers from the station. 

"No such exclusive rights have been given to auto or taxi operators. Railway is not even charging a parking fee from auto rickshaws. It is being charged only from taxis, hence they have no valid reason to stop online cabs inside station premises," The Timesof India quotes a railway official as saying. 

However, the auto drivers are adamant that they would continue to attack online taxi drivers who pick up customers from railway stations and government bus stands. 

They also raised the demand that online taxi aggregators should have a fixed charge like them, and that they should be prevented from charging lower rates that naturally encourage people to opt for cabs.