The recent agreement between Leh and Kargil taxi unions brokered by Divisional Commissioner Kashmir Asgar Samoon was severed last night after five taxi drivers were attacked at Leh Taxi Stand by unknown people.
In the agreement, two unions had agreed that the presidents of the two unions would be responsible for any breach of the agreement or attack on taxi drivers.
Police sources said that an FIR has been lodged against the attackers and the search operation is going on to apprehend the accused.
The news of attack on drivers also sparked protests in Kargil.
The district witnessed shutdown and people while staging protest raised slogans against Leh Taxi Union.
The protesters also raised slogans against the district administration Leh and Kargil and demanding immediate action against the culprits.
Shops and traffics remained suspended for whole day during the protest.
Chief Executive Councilor Haji Mohammad Haneefa Jan along with the executive councilors and MLA Kargil Asgar Karbalai also joined the protest.
Speaking to the protesters, Haji Haneefa said, “We are not the baggers. We want justice and our council supports the protest.”
“If the violence erupts and escalates as communal strife in Ladakh region then the leh administration would be responsible,” he added.
Vice President National Conference and Councilor Bhimbat Constituency Ghulam Rasool Nagvi said, “They have thrown out the agreement signed in presence of Divisional Commissioner into the dustbin”.
He further said, “We know the Leh administration have full support of State and Centre government therefore we have staged protest against the atrocitoes on our drivers.”
MLA Kargil Asgar Karbalai said , “We support peaceful protest of taxi union. It’s not an issue of taxi union alone but the thousands of families behind them. It’s not a political issue but a humanitarian one.”
Later a press conference was held at Islamia School Kargil where speaking to the media Aga Syed Jamal uddin Musavi expressed solidarity with the Taxi Union Kargil and said , “Law is equal for everybody and whenever Dalalai Lalama Ji visited Kargil we appealed him to preach love and co-existence to the people of Leh. Today we see the boycott in Zanaksar and continued assault on our drivers, which is not acceptable for us and we highly condemn it.”
President Taxi Union Kargil Gulzar Hassan said, “We will not allow anybody harass drivers from Leh, even they have their taxis in our stand. But Taxi Union Leh has broken the agreement, and they always violate agreements”.
Pertinent to mention, that Leh Taxi Union impedes in plying of taxis in Leh belonging to Kargil.
Taxi Union Kargil is not allowed in the premises of Leh Airport during winters.
Analysts say that the Leh Taxi Union President is also a member of Bhartiya Janta Youva Morcha and the conflict between the two unions will reflect in forthcoming Leh council election.