Even as tension between drivers of online cab operators and traditional taxi, autorickshaw drivers is at its peak in the state, Kerala DGP chose to maintain that the police was taking measures to protect the interests of online cab operators.
Kerala state police chief Loknath Behera informed the High Court on Tuesday, that the police have been taking effective measures to protect the rights of online taxi operations such as Uber and Ola.
Behera made the submission in response to a contempt of court petition filed against the officer by Malappuram native Navas C Ponnani, alleging that the police chief had failed to ensure that the rights of online cab operators were protected.
The petition was filed in the wake of drivers of online cab aggregators increasingly coming under attack by drivers of local taxis and autorickshaws.
The contempt petition was reportedly filed after the DGP â€śfailedâ€ť to comply by the HC order in March 2016, that asked the police chief to ensure that the constitutional right of the drivers shall be protected.
However, Behera maintained in court that adequate directions were issued by him on March 19 to all inspector generals of police to provide adequate assistance to online cab operators so that they could ferry passengers from railway stations and airports without any hindrance.
The affidavit also said a total of 30 cases have been registered in incidents related to prevention of online taxi services across the state during 2015 and 2016, say media reports. The DGP informed in court that with the conflict rampant in Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram, as many as 10 and 17 cases were registered in the two districts respectively.
In the affidavit submitted to the court, the senior police official also shed light to the circumstances in which such conflicts breaks out.
He pointed out that the local taxi drivers and autorickshaw drivers feared that their business would be affected, as the online cab operators tend to charge less from the customers.