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Old 20th July 2015, 18:10   #181
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

@ashnd, I hope you find the dashcam footage from the Fortuner.

You may also consider videographing the damaged vehicles, interviewing the convoy members , and uploading a factual self made video on youtube. This of course depends entirely on how you and others from the fateful trip want to take things forward.
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Old 20th July 2015, 18:31   #182
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

A very shocking and disturbing incident indeed.

For the ones who were driving and more so for the family members - we all know that it is 'we' enthusiasts who constantly motivate and prod our loved ones to accompany us / permit us to go to these exotic locations.
Such incidents leave an indelible mark and would impact future travails as well.

But at the same time it takes two to tango. No one would attack without rhyme or reason.
Not justifying the actions by any means and strict actions should be taken against the people concerned.

A few pages back a gentleman pointed out about the unwritten rules of the land - maybe the harsh truth.
We all know it and we all have complied with it at some point of time or other, but just so it is against the more popular sentiment prevalent at this time, it is criticized.

This is not just the case with India but in most countries, and am sure many of our members who have traveled extensively abroad will agree. And no I am not talking about under developed economies but major cities/countries as well.

What should be the outcome of not following these customs/rules is the larger issue.

There are many places within India where you wouldn't dare drive your vehicle in the night, not because there has been any major issue in the past, but this is what the locals follow and you do that

Things which did not go well -

1. Planning a major trip involving 15 cars, wasn't anyone aware of the issues regarding other state commercial vehicles?
They should have read about it, discussed and should have gone prepared to face in case of any altercations which may occur. This is not a new issue, this has prevailed for many years, in 2011 , my friends had taken an innova from autorider pune to ladakh, they were stopped as well. They stopped discussed with the drivers, compromised, negotiated and moved ahead.
You need to talk in order to subvert the issue, leaving the place where the general feeling is that they have been wronged, won't do any good.

2. Police inaction, this is the worst thing to happen with anybody in our country, alas this is the sad truth. I have seen this one too many times where the cops are least bothered to interfere or to prevent.

3. On the way to Pangong, when the commercial number plate vehicles didn't stop when asked to by the locals, other members of the convoy - (private registered owners) should have stopped to find out the reason. When you have done no wrong, what is there to be scared of? You obviously had permits to travel right?
Since you're travelling in a convoy/big group, someone should take responsibility of dealing with issues and not just skirt around them, especially in this region where at the end mostly you will return the same way.

4. If I am traveling to any sensitive area, I need to make sure of what things can go 'for' me and what can go against me. Accordingly I need to make my arrangements/plans.

There are references made over Mumbai, well I can give you a first hand account of what happens to a MH registered vehicle in UP.
What is the unwritten rule here?


O.T
I don't think rules and laws are the same in each state of our country and they are implemented accordingly as well, depending upon where you come from, examples;

- Mandate for outside Gujarat vehicles to have yellow strips, but you will find many locally registered vehicles dime and dozen without them

- Roof carriages not allowed for other state vehicles
- Window tints
- General checking, harassment for 'all' original documents

And pray these are only some types of legal harassment which we see every other day.

Anarchy has lot of different meanings depending on the context.

The greatest challenge which we face is implementation of the law - uniformly and justly to all.

Till such time that happens, we have to be prepared and plan for the worst.
People write about carrying jerry cans, extra tyres, medicines, gas stoves etc etc in terms of preparation, but I think the situation which we have just read through requires ample preparation as well.


Cheers!
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Old 20th July 2015, 18:34   #183
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

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Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
I have just posted the following message. Please use it as a template and write in to thupstan.chhewang@sansad.nic.in, thupstanc@yahoo.co.in yourselves, requesting for a solution.



PS: please don't thank this post - write to Hon. chhewang. Let's get this solved! Just ranting here ain't solving nothing.
thanks for the template, helped a lot. dropped a email to both the email IDs.
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Old 20th July 2015, 18:42   #184
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trojan View Post

Things which did not go well -

1. Planning a major trip involving 15 cars, wasn't anyone aware of the issues regarding other state commercial vehicles?
They should have read about it, discussed and should have gone prepared to face in case of any altercations which may occur. This is not a new issue, this has prevailed for many years, in 2011 , my friends had taken an innova from autorider pune to ladakh, they were stopped as well. They stopped discussed with the drivers, compromised, negotiated and moved ahead.
You need to talk in order to subvert the issue, leaving the place where the general feeling is that they have been wronged, won't do any good.
Trojan,

Please let me reply as I too was part of this group (but was not part of this madness as I was unwell).
We were aware of the issue of self-drive rentals, having read tsk's thread. When we went, we did check and were informed that we shouldn't face much trouble regarding this. We were prepared to stop & negotiate with the locals and leave our cars behind if needed so. In the past, people were allowed to travel in their vehicles after paying a bribe or switching to a taxi.
What we were not prepared for was property destruction, and such brutal violence without being given an opportunity to speak.
I re-iterate that it was pure luck and blessings that no one was grievously injured. Imagine what would have happened if one of the members was actually pulled out of his car (and one of them came very close to being pulled out!).

Quote:
3. On the way to Pangong, when the commercial number plate vehicles didn't stop when asked to by the locals, other members of the convoy - (private registered owners) should have stopped to find out the reason. When you have done no wrong, what is there to be scared of? You obviously had permits to travel right?
Since you're travelling in a convoy/big group, someone should take responsibility of dealing with issues and not just skirt around them, especially in this region where at the end mostly you will return the same way.
From what I have heard, there were no issues on the way to Pangong. Only on the return leg. None of us in the group would be so insensitive so as to let the others suffer because of our stubbornness.

Last edited by lamborghini : 20th July 2015 at 18:44.
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Old 20th July 2015, 19:24   #185
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

1> Similar harassment is faced in other parts of India too. Their level though differ. Unfortunately, no stern law (rather implementation) is in place against the miscreants. Escaping/Apologizing are the only way out of such hostile situations. Pls be safe & completely avoid getting into arguments in such situations.

2> Talking about implementation, Conflict of Interest (Cops owning taxis) is one of the reasons alongwith incapability against Taxi/Auto Unions out of bribery or politician/powerful peoples' involvement. Stronger Laws (unbiased towards locals as well as tourists), prompt implementation & sensitivity towards victims is needed out of Local Govt.

Finally, a rape incident with Uber forced complete operation ban in Delhi for a certain time & here a brutal attack on multiple cars is completely ignored.

NOTE: I don't mean to rate a Rape lower than Assault. This analogy is meant to highlight Govt's inaction. A Victim is a Victim in any situation & being responsible & logical citizens, our empathy should always be with them.
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Old 20th July 2015, 19:49   #186
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

Have shared it across all my Whatsapp groups and have also put it up on my FB and Twitter pages. Request all forum members to make it seen and heard far and wide. This threatens the very idea of a Nation.

@ashnd, please consider the following:
1. Puting it up on J&K/ Ladakh Tourism Website.
2. Puting it up on the PM and J&K CM's web pages.
3. Getting in on all major TV news channels; the dash cam video would be great.
4. Make the names of the inactive policemen public; better still, provide the details to their Department heads on email etc.
5. Find out if there is a way to lodge an online FIR.
6. Explore online grievance reporting mechanisms wherein you may expose the complicit policemen.
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Old 20th July 2015, 20:36   #187
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

My plan of driving to ladakh in my next upgrade (SUV / MUV) is flushed down the drain. . It would be better to make a "visa" for each and every state and let each state function as a country.

One india - national unity and integration all seem on paper only. Law and order seem to be detoriating and I am pretty sure that this will spread to other popular tourist spots shortly.

Taxis at tourist spots are'nt so friendly and they insist / compel to have food at thier preffered hotels only and also have a pre-defined routes. I had a bad first hand experience in Coorg. Taxis were very costly to begin with and also were NOT flexible to come a little early and wind up a little early. They strictly had a 9-5 timing. I ultimately took my own car and explored Coorg.
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Old 20th July 2015, 21:59   #188
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

Went through this thread today and I am absolutely horrified what people have gone through. This definitely pulls the plug on me driving to Leh.

What I am worried is some of us trying to justify what the Taxi union or the unwritten rules are. Last I checked, India is one country and a fellow can go anywhere he wishes to if he follows the law.

How can someone be forced to use what the locals are selling? In that case why stop there? Why not make a rule not to get outside food or clothing or for that matter anything, as it hampers the local economy. Businesses and Business scenario change the world over - people change, preferences change. Rather than trying to adapt to these changes (as most civilized people would do) we try to stop it and make it bad for ourselves only, in the long run.

Only God can help us.
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Old 20th July 2015, 22:27   #189
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

Missed this thread completely, and got to know about it after a few friends posted the link in Facebook. A good friend of mine had planned & executed a Kashmir-Leh trip 8-9 years back and the memories of that trip still remains fresh in my mind. At that point of time the Ladakhis were the most pleasant and peaceful people whom we had met. Hard working folks, always with a happy face (reminded me of the Gorkhas in the Indian Army). Jammu district had towns with business establishments, Kashmir district was any way big mess and we could just hope that terrorists would plan for a strike the next day. But Ladakh district was the one which gave me the most comfortable feeling in that 9 day journey.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashnd
The ITBP refused to help flat out. This was immediately after the incident when some from our group were seeking protection.
The Military Police were very helpful the next day and organised car workshops to be opened on the next day which happened to be a Sunday.
For the information of many of us drivers. Organisations like ITBP has the "police" tag attached, but they do not have the rights & duties of the state police force - here it is the Jammu & Kashmir police. When it comes to crime investigations (which includes the incidents which happened to the convoy) the ball lies in the court of the Jammu and Kashmir state police. The duties of the Military Police is way too different from any of the other police forces. The CMP personnel actually went above their charter to get the shops opened etc. Military Police is not an investigating agency, especially dealing with civilians. So if any body who has done a sloppy job here, it is the Jammu and Kashmir Police.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vikki@Hyderabad
Not sure if it's the Ladakhi community at fault here, because most of the taxi drivers I saw when I was there appeared to be either Kashmiri or from elsewhere.
I would wait for further confirmation on your good assessment, even though I feel you have hit the nail right on its head. If Kashmiris (inhabitants of the Kashmir valley, which is just a district in Jammu & Kashmir state), are involved then be rest assured that the hooliganism is actually hiding the issue below the carpet. This incident has to be seen at a separate angle/dimension, if Kashmiris are involved. If the Home Ministry is interested, first thing they should do is to do a demographic profiling of the the so called taxi-drivers and their union leaders. I would give you a further clue. Which group of people have been trying to throw spanners at the Amar Nath Yatras??

Quote:
Originally Posted by asinghal
We had rented taxis from Srinagar for trip in the valley. But in Pahalgam those taxi had to be parked in a separate area and we were forced to rent local taxis.
When I made a trip, the attempts were only to scare non-local drivers to kind of skip the whole trip, or to accept a Kashmiri driver to be made part of the journey. Both these incidents, were only at Sri Nagar and adjoining areas. But there was no violence or open threats.

Quote:
Originally Posted by humyum
The army should step in and whip and kick whoever touches any outside car in J/K as anyone has the free right to travel anywhere in this country, J/K or anything in it is not someone's fathers property.
The army is not a traffic police force. Army is very active in Jammu and Kashmir, but for very different reasons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster
Pardon my ignorance but what is this Ranbir Penal Code?
Thanks to some of the blunders committed by our great Prime Minister of yester years, Jammu and Kashmir gets some special rights. One such right is that certain laws and regulations do NOT apply in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The local laws are only applicable. So Indian Penal Code (IPC) which is pan-India law, may not be applicable here. But we need to see how Motor Vehicle Act,1988 applies for Jammu and Kashmir. This stupid Ranbir Penal Code may be the relic of a law which existed when Kashmir was a kingdom.
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Old 20th July 2015, 23:08   #190
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

Absolute Hooliganism! And for those of you trying to justify it, please, there is no way such antics can be allowed. Local economy, seasonal business or whatever.

I wanted to know if the Taxi drivers and the unions are from the Ladhaki community or are they from the Kashmir valley ? Because as far I know, I have heard the Ladhakis are a peaceful lot. And we all know what most of the people from the valley are upto. Not being judgmental, but the facts are such.

This is where I am worried about boycotting the area. May be the intention was to scare of the mainlanders, now neither we will take our cars there nor we can hire a cab from the foothills or else where and head there. This could even be an attempt to alienate the region!

Like someone said, the Home Ministry should profile the taxi drivers/unions and see if they are trouble makers and have some other vested interests apart from this tourist drama.

For now, I am just thinking if I should go to Ladhakh, drive around in one of their taxis and get them down to Chandigarh may be and trash their cars the same way
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Old 20th July 2015, 23:29   #191
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

I think something needs to be done to fix this menace.I am seeking legal opinion from couple of lawyers from Kashmir High Court and update you all very soon on this. and i will start a new thread after we move forward in this direction.

Waseem Memon

Last edited by GTO : 4th August 2015 at 12:35. Reason: PM coming up
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Old 21st July 2015, 02:53   #192
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Default Re: If not Ladakh, what are the options?

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Originally Posted by anilp View Post
It was my dream to drive across Ladakh in an SUV -- if I'm able to buy one or rent a suitable vehicle. Or maybe even take my sedan there.

This seems to be threatened (temporarily, I hope). I have changed my plans considering the locals' tolerance levels towards visitors and self driven vehicles. When self driven vehicles are allowed across the world, why should we Indians be bereft of the privilege? If they don't need us, we'll go elsewhere.

What are the other equally high range driving options for you in India? Living in Bombay means that we have to go much further. I for one, am looking at options in the North East, Darjeeling to start with. Driving down to, and across Bhutan is yet another option under research.

Where do you plan to go if not Ladakh? It will be great to hear your thoughts.

In case you are not familiar with the Ladakh situation as yet here are the threads:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/street...axi-mafia.html

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/street...e-rentals.html
Frankly, just because of this one episode i would not stop travelling to Ladakh nor would recommend others to stop going there. I was in fact there last month and had a pretty good trip. There are 2 sides to a coin. Yet to hear the other side of the story.Even as i write this today i have few folks travelling to Ladkah and one incident would not change much. Personally i would travel to Ladakh again and recommend folks to travel too.

The taxi union does stop you at Karu checkpost and warns you not to take your self drive rented car to Pangong. You can switch over to bikes or travel or take a local taxi. We did the same along with couple of other folks whom we met who had driven in rental cars like zoom or myles.

Even when we were there, one Zoom car owner tried to play smart and its rear windshield was damaged. For now driving self drive rented cars till Ladakh would not be an issue. But you would not be able to use them for local sightseeing and would need to switch to Taxi.If you follow their instructions you would not have a problem. We were in Ladkah for over one week and really enjoyed our stay. So probably you should not give up on your trip and should plan on driving down.

Last edited by Dushie : 21st July 2015 at 02:54.
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Old 21st July 2015, 09:07   #193
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Originally Posted by srinath.s View Post
Request you all to kindly spread the word and garner as much support as possible.
Signed from my side.

I came across this post yesterday and completely support the cause. Hope the families are safe and vehicles are back in action. Seeing this trend across India. Be it Darjeeling side , specific areas in south and other places. This strategy is detrimental for tourism to develop. If it is highly difficult terrain then it would make sense to control and advise people but resorting to violence is going to make things worse for their livelihood. Hope sense prevails .
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Old 21st July 2015, 09:54   #194
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Default Re: If not Ladakh, what are the options?

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Originally Posted by Dushie View Post
Frankly, just because of this one episode i would not stop travelling to Ladakh nor would recommend others to stop going there. I was in fact there last month and had a pretty good trip. There are 2 sides to a coin. Yet to hear the other side of the story.Even as i write this today i have few folks travelling to Ladkah and one incident would not change much. Personally i would travel to Ladakh again and recommend folks to travel too.

The taxi union does stop you at Karu checkpost and warns you not to take your self drive rented car to Pangong. You can switch over to bikes or travel or take a local taxi. We did the same along with couple of other folks whom we met who had driven in rental cars like zoom or myles.

Even when we were there, one Zoom car owner tried to play smart and its rear windshield was damaged. For now driving self drive rented cars till Ladakh would not be an issue. But you would not be able to use them for local sightseeing and would need to switch to Taxi.If you follow their instructions you would not have a problem. We were in Ladkah for over one week and really enjoyed our stay. So probably you should not give up on your trip and should plan on driving down.
1. Isnt this experience more recent than yours? Then why would you recommend to anybody to maybe get their head in a hole hundreds of kilometres from sanity?
2. If there are 2 sides, do let your acquaintances who know of this to check up since they're headed there anyway. However, I for one, believe that this was about to boil over owing to the various diktats being issued previously by these guys.
3. What "smartness" did that one zoomcar driver exhibit that he got his windshield smashed? I'm presuming he hit someone, or ran over his dog, or stole condiments the previous night from his kitchen. Unless the magnitude is that much, I cannot justify moronic behavior like that.
4. To the OP, take your own call on this. I would not suggest waving, effectively, a red flag in these guys' faces right now. This thread itself is throwing up a few good alternatives. Right now a trip to leh does not qualify for a "leh'd" badge, but more of a Gallantry award. Let them starve for a few months. The ones that they milk the most, foreigners, will be the first to regress.



To the thread:
Chopta, I was thinking of doing an overnight at Lansdowne, and heading over. Coming back, how long does does chopta to delhi take? Or is another overnighter suggested at Lansdowne?

Last edited by mayankk : 21st July 2015 at 10:13.
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Old 21st July 2015, 10:08   #195
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SILVERWOOD
I think something needs to be done to fix this menace.I am seeking legal opinion from couple of lawyers from Kashmir High Court and update you all very soon on this. and i will start a new thread after we move forward in this direction.
Thanks for the initiative, sir! Please share the legal opinion which you receive. But I feel more than the law, it is the "law enforcement" which is the problem here. The Ladakh district police seems to be useless (either by nature, or being part of the racket). So we may have all the laws (similar to what we have in India), in place here as well but the enforcement of the same is absolutely poor. One more thing is that in Ladakh region, police stations are thinned out. During my trip to that area, I was surprised to find boards like "Nearest Police station - Drass, 50 kms" etc. So in such a desolate area, the taxi driver hooligans have much more chance to corner the private vehicles etc. in some dangerous spot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ManuMacher
This strategy is detrimental for tourism to develop.
The bigger problem is not tourism related, but certain areas of Indian Union being "out of bounds" for Indian citizens. I am a very prejudiced individual, but I feel the whole taxi driver hooliganism may have been started by non-Ladakhi drivers, mainly Kashmiris. The Kashmiri porters usually create a ruckus during the Amarnath Yatra, and any person can understand why they would do that. A few of my friends who made the trip in recent years (I did it 8 odd years back), were saying that things had been changing. For example, taxi drivers themselves fight with each other. A taxi from Manali cannot operate freely in Leh etc. etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VeluM
I was commenting on suggestions that the Army step in and control the situation, which is not possible unless there is a full-scale riot which the local police and paramilitary forces cannot control.
Correct me if I am wrong, but the Army can only get itself involved after a formal request from the civil authorities (District Collector, State Adminisration etc.).
----
The positive note I see here is that tourism seems to have picked up in the trouble Jammu and Kashmir area. At least people now go there, without being killed by the terrorists. I hope better sense prevails amongst the locals, that there are still enough job opportunities within tourism industry which would benefit them with a better living. Local Taxi running is not the only job available for the local population.

Last edited by sachinpk : 21st July 2015 at 10:10.
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