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Transport strike call by Oct 9

Taxi, minibus and a section of private bus operators on Tuesday said they would wait till October 8 for the government to clarify its stance on the demand for a fare hike before deciding whether to go on an indefinite strike.

The operators will announce their decision on October 9.

On September 20, transport minister Madan Mitra, while convincing taxi owners and operators to withdraw a 72-hour taxi strike, had said that a group of ministers would meet on October 7 and the government would come up with an answer to the demand for a fare hike by October 8.

“We have decided to wait till October 8 and decide on our next course of action the next day,” said Bimal Guha of the Bengal Taxi Association, the state’s largest body of private taxi owners. “Taxi operators had already decided to go off the road from October 9. But following today’s meeting, we have decided to wait.”

The Joint Council of Bus Syndicate, the state’s biggest body of private bus operators, has declared the withdrawal of buses from roads from October 9 unless fares are hiked.

Arrested: Sheikh Gora, a bus conductor, was arrested for allegedly attempting to steal a one-year-old child from a Moulali footpath on Monday night. Gora, a resident of Rajabazar, was caught after the girl’s cry alerted her mother.