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Old 24th July 2015, 21:45   #271
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Originally Posted by ashnd View Post
Please see the video taken by the dash-cam of the rental Fortuner, taken at Karu. You can see how the taxi mafia have taken it upon themselves to self-police the point at Karu. There is no queue for a checkpost, no rash driving, the mafia block the way and the vehicle stops, the driver talks to the ‘self-appointed’ police (the taxi mafia). They then try and snatch his keys, wherein the dashcam shakes, he winds his window up, and revs his engine to show his displeasure at such high-handedness. They then gesture for him to stay put whilst the destruction begins. It is only then that he moves away from the area, as any sane-minded person would
Well, that just puts paid to any counter argument. The place has been taken over by a bunch of crooks, gundas,who aren't smart enough to make an honest living. I'm sharing this far and wide with a warning to drop any plans.
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Old 24th July 2015, 22:16   #272
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

Originally Posted by mayankk View Post
Well, that just puts paid to any counter argument. The place has been taken over by a bunch of crooks, gundas,who aren't smart enough to make an honest living. I'm sharing this far and wide with a warning to drop any plans.
This needs to be made viral. I was expecting to see a conversation followed by a heated argument then an attack. This video however represents an unprovoked attack. There is absolutely nothing the driver could have said in the 10 to 15 seconds that he was stationary that could provoke such a response from these lunatics. I feel for the families who had to bear this almost a thousand kilometers from their home.
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Old 24th July 2015, 22:30   #273
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

After watching the clip, I think I see a anti-pollution protest angle here. Maybe the peaceful local taxi mafia decided to save the region from rash driving 'domestic' tourists by stopping their vehicles and throwing rocks at it.

Please, someone defend this.
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Old 24th July 2015, 22:31   #274
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

Fact - Driving out of State motor vehicles is becoming increasingly risky in many parts of India. If not the taxi mafias, then there are always the local authorities to contend with.

Fact - A vast variety of local laws impacting road transport makes it difficult to be in adherence at all times, so matters have reached regular extortion levels in many places.

Fact - Many city drivers in over-powered cars and bikes do not have the faintest clue of what 200% safe driving means. 100% for themselves and 100% for other road users.

Fact - Even in urban areas, taxi and auto drivers protect their "turf". This can be seen at airports, railway and even Metro stations where taxies and autos which drop off passengers are not allowed to pick passengers up.

Fact - Local taxi operators will always be hand in glove with the local law enforcement authorities, very often ownership is controlled by the "authorities".

Fact - Loans for taxies have become extremely easy making it very easy for people to fall into horrendous debt traps.

Fact - Solutions will have to be found taking into account all these, and more, parameters.

I used to really enjoy driving all over the country. The first time I attempted trying to head beyond Rohtang was way back in 1974 - there wasn't even a proper road from Manali to Rohtang at that time. After that, I rode as observor on oil tanker trucks on routes in the same mountains otherwise restricted to Armed Forces vehicles, and then a few times more on my own.

Now, I watch and wait, meanwhile I travel by train and then hire a local vehicle. Pity there is no train to Ladakh.
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Old 24th July 2015, 22:32   #275
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

ashnd - this is brilliant I am so happy to see you back and that also with a bang. the video simply signifies the type of behavior which was done to the convoy which is rightly said by you is CRIMINAL in nature leading to Destruction of Property OR Life.
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Old 24th July 2015, 22:37   #276
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

Note from mod : Dashcam video added to opening page
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Old 24th July 2015, 22:42   #277
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This is just absolutely nuts. I'm with all people here saying that Ladakh should be boycotted till it hurts these people. No matter how much it displeases people, violence like this has no justification. There are many other ways to stop people from bringing self drive rentals if they feel so strongly about it.

This video just proves that the attack was unprovoked. They just stop the car out of the blue, and go crazy.

I had a few friends who were part of this drive, and they said a few stones were thrown on their cars. Its only when I saw this thread that I realized how serious the issue was.

I truly hope these guys are booked for attempted murder, which is probably what would have happened had they managed to pull the poor fellow out of the Thar.

There is absolutely no justification for this kind of behavior, and let them learn to become friendly towards tourists or find other ways of earning. I know for sure I'm not heading there any time soon (it was a dream to drive down there from Bombay), and have even discouraged 2 groups of people who were planning a trip by showing them this thread.

I hope the video goes viral and mainstream media takes a note of it.
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Old 24th July 2015, 23:45   #278
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

This reminded me of the harrowing experience on our Kashmir tour 2 years back.

We were travelling on hired tour cars (taken from Jammu for whole duration of tour).

In Gulmarg I believe (dont remember exactly), they wouldnt just let our cars go through. Fortunately for us, we relented early, and the local taxi assocation forced us to book a cab to travel the last mile.

As it is, they asked for an outrageous amount ( Rs 4500 per car, for a distance which should be no more than Rs 500-600 max ). After travelling a bit, a police at an outpost stopped and told us not to pay a paisa more than Rs 800 per car, and that they will be there when we pay, to avoid any untoward incidents.

This was reassuring, but when returning back, lo and behold, the police outpost is fully empty. Not a single guy in sight. Had to pay almost the same as their demand, and they were not allowing our cars to leave, and had kept the driver sort-of captive you might say.

I am sad to say, such experiences just make me not recommend Kashmir and Ladakh to tourists anymore. Its a pity, since the scenaries are just awesome.

Good to know that your family and friends got through without any major injuries. Really saddened to see the condition of your new cars. Someone really needs to get the taxi mafia in control
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Old 25th July 2015, 00:04   #279
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After watching the video it puts all counter arguments for the violence that's seen in the video. These guys clearly had all intentions to damage such self drive cars without any regard for the occupants inside the car.

What's even more scarier is this is happening near a checkpost near the Leh-Manali & Leh-Pangong junction which is seen shortly after the car sets off. The local police doesn't want to intervene with such rampant, daylight extortion.
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Old 25th July 2015, 00:21   #280
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

Originally Posted by prkiran View Post
Pardon my ignorance, is similar nonsense happening in Goa as well? Was planning a drive to Goa later this year and this line is a bit of a shocker.
Goa probably is not the safest tourist destination but people wont attack you unless you instigate them to do so.
My Activa tyres were completely deflated by a local because it partially blocked the pathway to his house despite there being lots of space to pass. On asking him the reason he started with his garrulous blabbering but what ticked me off was this question- <i>"Tum log Goa aate kyu ho?"</i>("Why do you people come to Goa?")
Many such not so great stories about Goa but I don't think this would be the right thread to discuss it.

Originally Posted by lazy View Post
I can quote dozens of examples, but since this is TeamBHP let me take a driving example. In the hills, locals drive super patiently, some stop and wait even 100-200 mtrs before a narrow point to let the other vehicle pass.
I beg to differ sir, On the contrary the local taxi drivers in the hills think that they know the road so well they drive maniacs thinking themselves as immortal. Try and ask to slow them down and you hear the same old cliche- <i>"Hamara toh rozka aana-jaana hai"<i>("We take this route everyday").
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Old 25th July 2015, 00:35   #281
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

Can we please have the audio in that video please? That surely would put everything into place.
Also, is that the instance of the first attack? Or there were attacks before this particular incident?

I've been following this incident from the first day. Although I did had formed an opinion initially, I was waiting for a video or the other side of the story before making any final call. Hence the request for the audio as that would surely give more insight into this incident. I guess you guys can and will produce this as proof of the attack to the judge as you guys are going the judicial way. Hope the culprits would be brought to justice soon.

Last edited by kaushik_s : 25th July 2015 at 00:41.
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Old 25th July 2015, 01:03   #282
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

I am the driver of the Fortuner in the dash cam video and was a part of the convoy with my family and friends. There is absolutely nothing that can justify what happened with us. The images are still vivid in my mind and there was absolutely no provocation, no matter what they may claim now (the part about rash driving, overtaking, saying "tu jaanta nahi main kaun hoon" - is all BS. Nothing like that happened. There was absolutely no talk, just stopped us and started stone pelting).

It was an attempt on our life. The video is just the tip of the iceberg of what we have gone through, at the hands of the Taxi Mafia. The part in the video where you can see the camera shaking is due to about 20-25 goons hitting, kicking the Fortuner and trying to topple it. This happened just after they tried to snatch the keys from the ignition and attempted to pull open the driver door. The stone which the guy in the cap is holding was thrown on the hood and 2 other stones of same size were thrown INTO the Fortuner after smashing the windows. They did not care for the lives of the passengers sitting inside, terrified and shocked.

There is absolutely nothing that can justify this violence. They probably would have burned the car down, had I delayed my escape.

Last edited by Akki_5 : 25th July 2015 at 01:26.
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Old 25th July 2015, 01:21   #283
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Originally Posted by mi2n View Post
I do agree that it would be unfair to judge the entire Ladakhi population based on the misdeeds of a few, however, it seems, that the miscreants are enjoying full local support who are joining the wrong side by posting on social media with a nasty attitude towards " Indian" tourists and even making subtle threats. Needless to say, foreign tourists would be gullible and can be extorted rather easily, so the motive seems awfully clear here.
Well, if the situation is anything like Manali, let me say that the domestic tourists are getting fleeced to much greater degrees and in much greater numbers than the foreigners; As an example, let me say that there are very few foreigners who are willing to pay a few thousand rupees to ride a snow-scooter for a few minutes (as thousands of domestic tourists have been happily doing) at Solang - and there are very few foreigners staying in the higher-end hotels here; And everybody in the industry knows that Israelis, at least, can drive a harder bargain than almost any Indian.

When I was in Leh last June, I did hear various complaints (from local hotel staff, etc) about the shift from foreign to domestic tourism, and not on monetary or completely unreasonable bases (reasons outlined in other posts here). Tourism (/tourists) can be an ugly thing, especially when it arrives in an uncontrolled flood (post-"Three Idiots").

But my wife (we have quite a few "ex-pat" Ladakhi friends here in Manali, actually, so are not naturally biased against them) was just reading of another incident on FB, where an out-of-state taxi carrying two foreign women out in Nubra Valley was also surrounded with locals carrying sticks, etc - in this case the "mafia" threatened to actually BURN the car if the driver so much as moved an inch. Somehow police got involved and initially provided an escort, but turns out the police were on the locals' side, and abandoned the tourist car to their own fate somewhere along the way. At this point, the driver, fearing for his life/his car, refused to carry them further, and parked it somewhere, I guess, leaving the two ladies to proceed to Leh by Army truck. Now, what sort of story are THEY going to go back and tell in their land(s) of origin? How might these sorts of continuing incidents effect even foreign tourist arrivals and opinions in the coming days? And what does it say to the actual motives of the taxi union? I'm pretty sure that these foreign ladies were not yelling racial slurs.

Seems a Ladakhi organization like the LBA, with all its influence, ought to be able to see the huge potential losses, and come out with a (religiously-sanctioned) statement against these sorts of violence. Trouble is that on occasion they themselves have reportedly threatened to burn things down that they didn't like (I say "reportedly" so as to deflect any further inquiries). So I'm not holding my breath there.

Ladakh has an ancient and rich history - for centuries many, many people of different lands passed through it and traded there. And locals had a long history of getting rich off that trade - off the tariffs and levies and duties paid by those passing through. I can't help but wonder if the current attitude is simply an extension of that ancient mindset. Trouble is that Ladakh was an independent "nation" then, able to control its own environment and make all its own rules - and now it's not really. Perhaps that's part of the frustration.

Ultimately, there has been wrong, broadly, on both the side of careless tourists and of a highly protectionist union. Ladakhis can say all they like about the degradations caused by tourism - much of it true of course. But where are their own priorities? If "we" (tourists) are able to boycott Ladakh, then obviously "they" are also able to boycott their own tourism industry, if they really feel it's doing them more harm than good. Close (or limit operations of) their hotels / guesthouses / shops / restaurants. Stop driving taxis. Obviously tourists will not come in large numbers if there are fewer services / facilities available.

But who among them has done that??? Who among them - even among the very rich - is willing to part with the money? Let's see if even a few would be willing to take that step.

Can't help but conclude that it really is the responsibility of government to control both sides of it. Levy extremely heavy, zero-tolerance fines for littering or rash driving or whatever else is being legitimately complained about, so that the Ladakhis feel their concerns are being taken seriously. And without fail, put people in jail who threaten others' lives / well-being, so that the rest of India can again feel safe traveling there.


Last edited by ringoism : 25th July 2015 at 01:45.
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Old 25th July 2015, 01:54   #284
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This is absolutely horrifying. I have written to a prominent news channel and have mailed them the links to this thread and the youtube video and requested them to give coverage to the incident.
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Old 25th July 2015, 06:10   #285
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

Delhi, Mumbai and other cities have greater pollution issues, but still we do not stop any tourist from other areas to drive into these metro cities.

We are one nation, permits to drive into some sensitive areas is an acceptable thing. But stopping to drive our cars with in our nation is completely not acceptable.

After seeing the video it is clear that it was planned, and those people had no respect for the life's and wellbeing of the people travelling in these cars.

Another thing which is clear is that even local authorities does not want to take action or get involved, as this is not the only incident which has taken place.
And the issues have still not been resolved.

Actions like these makes me wonder in which direction humanity is going.

I guess this will not resolve for a long time. These people are destroying there business themselves and once they have no way of earning money, they will come to cities and create more bigger issue, which is clear from their current activities.

So much for "athethy devo bhava".

Tourism in India is becoming questionable issue now.
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