Maharashtra bandh: Students face inconvenience as school buses go off the road
Mumbai, Jan 3: Parents and guardians of school-going children in Maharashtra were a worried lot as they had no other option but to send their wards to schools on Wednesday when the state observed a bandh.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government did not declare a holiday for schools in spite of protests and violence across the state since Monday.
The state-wide bandh was called by Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM) leader Prakash Ambedkar to protest against the government's "failure" to stop the violence at Bhima-Koregaon village leading to the death of one person.
On Monday, violence broke out during the 200th-anniversary celebrations of the Bhima-Koregaon battle in Pune district.
According to authorities, they did not expect much trouble on the bandh day and thus decided to keep schools open.
Some schools, however, declared a holiday on Wednesday as school buses refused to ply in the morning shift, reported The Times of India. Many parents also decided not to send their wards to schools to avoid any untoward incidents.
On Tuesday, the School Bus Owners' Association (SBOA) said it would not operate its fleet of 40,000 buses on Wednesday.
Anil Garg, president of SBOA, said, "For security reasons, we have decided not to ply our buses on the first shift tomorrow. If the situation remains peaceful, we will run the buses on the second shift."
Won't run school buses in Mumbai today, can't risk students' safety and security. Will take a second decision at 11 AM if we can run them in the second half, depending on the situation: Anil Garg, School Bus Owners' Association #BhimaKoregaonViolence pic.twitter.com/8MyAiJBHiy— ANI (@ANI) January 3, 2018
However, if a particular bus owner wanted to operate his services, it would be his call, he added.
"Law-and-order is beyond our control. Therefore, we cannot take the risk," Garg said.