Public transport leaders welcome end of syndicate system, released

Kathmandu, May 6

Leaders of public transport entrepreneurs were released today after they agreed in writing to cooperate with the government and welcomed the government’s decision to abolish syndicate system.

Police had detained as many as 93 public transport leaders, including the office-bearers of Federation of Nepalese National Transport Entrepreneurs, from different places of the country on Friday and Saturday after they opposed the government’s move to break the syndicate and announced transport strike.

According to Metropolitan Police Range, Kathmandu, FNNTE chair Yogendra Nath Karmacharya, senior chairperson Bijaya Bahadur Swarn, general secretary Saroj Sitaula, deputy general secretary Basanta Bhandari, treasurer Kiran Khadka and Province 3 coordinator Dharmaraj Rijal signed a commitment paper reading “we will not support the transport syndicate and strike henceforth, will get registered as a company, operate vehicles, cooperate with the government and welcome the move to break the syndicate”.

They were released without legal action after they signed the commitment paper, District Administration Office, Kathmandu, in the presence of Chief District Officer Kedarnath Sharma, Kathmandu police chief SSP Bishwa Raj Pokharel and representatives of transport entrepreneurs. Sitaula was held from Bhrikutimandap on Friday while five others were arrested from New Baneshwor yesterday.

According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, other entrepreneurs arrested in other districts are also being released after signing the commitment paper. Earlier, the MoHA had issued a circular to all district administration office, asking them not to release transport strikers unless they agreed in writing to cooperate with the government.

Police said they were preparing to initiate legal action against the entrepreneurs under the Essential Services Operation Act before they signed the commitment paper. The act has fixed 18 areas of essential services where strike is prohibited. Some of the services include public transportation, postal, telegram or telephone services, and airport runway repair and maintenance services.  Anyone found guilty under the law could be sentenced up to one year in jail, along with a fine of Rs 1,000.