Car involved in harassment case seized in Assam; driver absconding

Staff Reporter
NAHARLAGUN, Aug 19: The Innova passenger cab which was used during the recent case involving extreme harassment of three women passengers from Itanagar was seized by the police unit of Borgaon, Assam, on Saturday.
Borgaon Police Station In-charge Raju Dowarah informed that the vehicle, bearing registration number AS-01-AH8933, was seized and the search is on for the absconding driver, Nilu Singh.
Meanwhile, the Arunachal Pradesh Tours and Travels Association (APTTA) recently held a meeting here of all tour operator counters to discuss the incident, as well as the matter of the safety of passengers who use their services to travel to and from Guwahati.
Bipul Kumar, who runs the Sahara Tours and Travels counter (under which the Innova operates and Nilu Singh works) clarified that the Innova car which was plying to Guwahati on the fateful day has been seized by police and he is cooperating with the police to ensure that the culprit is nabbed soon.
The union’s members, including APTTA president Toko Tadap and general secretary Tarh Tang, noted that there are some private vehicles operating from the counters with new and unprofessional drivers.
In a statement on Sunday evening, the APTTA appealed to the state government to ban and seize all private vehicles operating for commercial purposes, whether plying in the state or coming from other states.
“Commercial vehicles plying with proper insurance documents, and tourist permits pay heavy tax revenue to the state government. They are instead facing revenue losses due to private vehicles running at cheap fares, creating competition, and can also cause untoward incidents,” the association said.
It said drivers of such private vehicles do not provide proper address documents and police verification records to the owners because these drivers are hired on temporary basis “and that it is a matter of concern for one and all.
“In 2014, the state government had come out with a strict notification to ban private vehicles from being used for commercial purposes. This should be checked and balanced,” it said, adding that counters which are working merely on commission basis “become the last victims.”
The APTTA said it would cooperate with the victimized passengers, and appealed to the investigating agency to trace out the culprit driver as soon as possible.
The association also appealed to the passengers to book tickets only through authorized counters which fall under the APTTA’s jurisdiction, and not through telephonic conversation.
The counter and vehicle owners were meanwhile asked to submit authentic documents of their employees, including drivers and staffs, with proper police records, so that untoward incidents can be prevented.