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       Taxi drivers clash at Eenchakkal
         Posted on :09:03:25 Jul 13, 2018
       Last edited on:09:03:25 Jul 13, 2018
         Tags: taxi drivers, clash, Eenchakkal

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Differences over the functioning of a taxi drivers’ association spilled out into the street at Eenchakkal. Members of the Trivandrum Airport Taxi Drivers Welfare Association, the dominant registered union of taxi drivers at the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport, clashed with each other near the association office at Eenchakkal, prompting the police to intervene to bring the situation under control. Vehicular flow along the NH-66 bypass was disrupted for a short while.

Launched in 1979, the association has 168 members, affiliated to various political parties, and operates 110 taxis at the domestic and international terminals of the airport. Among them, 17 members, who claimed to have the backing of the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS), have been revolting against the office-bearers of the association, accusing them of functioning in an autocratic manner. A plea filed by them, challenging various decisions of the association, is under the consideration of the Kerala High Court. The splinter group, led by its president T. Mohan Kumar, took out a demonstration in front of the association office in protest against the alleged decision of the association to deny them their benefits.

They accused association president V Sivankutty and secretary C Gopalakrishnan Nair of functioning in an undemocratic and vengeful manner. Members of the opposing groups came to blows with plastic chairs being hurled at each other. With the clash threatening to spill out into the NH-66 bypass, a large police posse led by Assistant Commissioner (Shanghumugham) A R Shanihan was deployed in the area to restore peace. While no case has been registered, a considerable police presence is still in place to prevent any escalation of tension.

Association secretary C Gopalakrishnan Nair accused the rebels of disrupting peace in the area and among taxi drivers for political interests. Many of them had benefited from the association by obtaining huge sums as bonus and loan until recently, he added.

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