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Old 25th July 2015, 07:44   #286
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

Look at the dashcam video again carefully. (Surpising to observe that sound appears to have been suppressed). Between 00:45 and 01:05, 20 seconds, things move fast and it appears as though the elderly gent in the white cap has come between the white Gypsy and the vehicle with the dashcam, and then fallen or been pushed in front of the vehicle with the dashcam.

What would I do if I was somehow pushed in front of a vehicle revving to get out? Think about it carefully and then blame somebody for picking up a stone.

There is another factor - while a private driving licence technically entitles us to drive all over India in a private car, some restrictions can be placed on border roads as well as roads specific to some purposes. A private driving licence does not entitle us to go wherever we want to - try and get into a bus lane on a BRT or try and enter the taxi lane at the airport or railway station, for example. Or try and enter high security areas?

Maybe the Ladakh taxi operators have a valid point - everybody and their nephews should not be permitted on every road in Ladakh, especially in over-powered vehicles. Let there be a rule that duly licenced, duly trained, duly certified and duly insured drivers will only be permitted to drive on certain roads. If private drivers do not meet these conditions, stringent and why not, then they can hire a driver from a pool of such locally duly licenced/certified/insured/trained options, who will be graded according to their skills and certifications for vehicles by engine and power sizes. Such drivers shall also have para-medical training, be aware of local search and rescue options and in general be more like beacons of responsiblity for their State and for India. In due course of time some of these drivers can be way better than the rally drivers we have in India.

After all, how many of us who have driven on those roads do not have a story of being helped or rescued? I do. And mine goes back to 1974. So I am personally grateful for the help from the hardy road warriors of Ladakh/J&K and HP, just to name two parts of India.

These hill drivers are assets. It is up to us to make things happen. Properly.

Instead, it appears that the system has saddled what could be amongst the best hill drivers in the country with huge debts, and now the system is forcing them on the roads.

This is happening in many parts of the country.

Instead of making loans for vehicles easier, provide better training and certification for these natural hill drivers, and take it from there. The good ones will get more work by word of mouth, the not-so-good ones will linger on and the bad ones will fade out.

I hope this is resolved soon.
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Old 25th July 2015, 08:40   #287
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

Quote:
Originally Posted by malq View Post
Look at the dashcam video again carefully. (Surpising to observe that sound appears to have been suppressed). Between 00:45 and 01:05, 20 seconds, things move fast and it appears as though the elderly gent in the white cap has come between the white Gypsy and the vehicle with the dashcam, and then fallen or been pushed in front of the vehicle with the dashcam.

What would I do if I was somehow pushed in front of a vehicle revving to get out? Think about it carefully and then blame somebody for picking up a stone.
Look at the dashcam video again carefully. From 00:22, it appears as though the elderly gent in the white cap is signalling the vehicle to stop. He has about 10-15 supporters who are visible. There maybe more lurking at the sides. Who are they? Police? Army? They start kicking the vehicle as you can see in the vibrations the cam picks up. One person tries to snatch away the keys. It is after all this, that the driver revs and tries to escape. At this point, the 'elderly' person tries to lay before the car to make him stop. Then gets up a few seconds later and bangs a stone on the hood.

What would I do if I was surrounded by a mob with stones and rods who were smashing my windows and my family was inside? Think about it carefully and then blame somebody for trying to make an escape.

Quote:
There is another factor - while a private driving licence technically entitles us to drive all over India in a private car, some restrictions can be placed on border roads as well as roads specific to some purposes. A private driving licence does not entitle us to go wherever we want to - try and get into a bus lane on a BRT or try and enter the taxi lane at the airport or railway station, for example. Or try and enter high security areas?
Indeed, and that is because the law demands so. Did people venture out when Ladakh was closed for tourists and run amock? No. It's only when the govt. relaxed the norms, did common people started visiting it. They are not doing anything illegal.

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Maybe the Ladakh taxi operators have a valid point - everybody and their nephews should not be permitted on every road in Ladakh, especially in over-powered vehicles. Let there be a rule that duly licenced, duly trained, duly certified and duly insured drivers will only be permitted to drive on certain roads. If private drivers do not meet these conditions, stringent and why not, then they can hire a driver from a pool of such locally duly licenced/certified/insured/trained options, who will be graded according to their skills and certifications for vehicles by engine and power sizes. Such drivers shall also have para-medical training, be aware of local search and rescue options and in general be more like beacons of responsiblity for their State and for India. In due course of time some of these drivers can be way better than the rally drivers we have in India.
I would request you please visit the area, hire a local cab and travel in it for a week's time covering all the 'tourist' spots. You will very well see the level of expertise/co-operation.

When the local administration was unable to stand up for a group who were criminally intimidated, do you really think they stand a chance to implement such measures which will further curb their income?

Quote:
These hill drivers are assets. It is up to us to make things happen. Properly.
What did the OP to these assets to warrant such a violent reaction?

Quote:
Instead, it appears that the system has saddled what could be amongst the best hill drivers in the country with huge debts, and now the system is forcing them on the roads.
How is the system responsible for an 'individual's' choice? If I buy a car with loan, banking on a income that is not guaranteed, how is that the govt's problem?

Quote:
Instead of making loans for vehicles easier, provide better training and certification for these natural hill drivers, and take it from there. The good ones will get more work by word of mouth, the not-so-good ones will linger on and the bad ones will fade out.

I hope this is resolved soon
Same thing happens even now. There are a handful of taxi drivers, who do get more business because they have built their repute among the tourists across forums. All these steps you mention should have been taken by the union to ensure a healthy growth. But instead they are fixated on other things.
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Old 25th July 2015, 08:42   #288
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

Will someone please make a car sticker saying "Do not visit Ladhak. Your vehicle will be attacked!" Let us all put it on our vehicles. It will be a suitable reply to those 10000 taxiwalas (including SHO with 3 taxis) and the RP code.

Not only IPC but Cr.P.C., Evidence Act and many other acts does not apply on J&K.
J&K has a separate penal code called "The Ranbir Penal Code", all due to Article 370.

Most of residents there (except Jammu) do not think themselves as Indians. They just want our money. I'm so sad that a whole generation of our country has missed the charm and romance of Kashmir and Ladhak of 60's and 70's.

Last edited by DwarkaDelhiWala : 25th July 2015 at 09:04.
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Old 25th July 2015, 09:08   #289
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

This is a big storm brewing. And the Taxi Union is putting itself in danger also. They have effectively stopped taxis from elsewhere to enter ladakh tourist circuit. So what makes them think they can safely enter the tourist circuits of other places?
Just an example, They won't allow taxis from Manali to go beyond Leh. Will the Manali taxi syndicate allow them to enter their region? Never.
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Old 25th July 2015, 09:41   #290
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

Quote:
Originally Posted by malq View Post
Look at the dashcam video again carefully. (Surpising to observe that sound appears to have been suppressed). Between 00:45 and 01:05, 20 seconds, things move fast and it appears as though the elderly gent in the white cap has come between the white Gypsy and the vehicle with the dashcam, and then fallen or been pushed in front of the vehicle with the dashcam.

What would I do if I was somehow pushed in front of a vehicle revving to get out? Think about it carefully and then blame somebody for picking up a stone.
Are you for real?
Did you view a different dash cam footage apart from the one posted here? How on Earth can you justify the actions of the goons who are blocking the path of the car in question?
Who are they to block and inspect vehicles? Why didn't they involve local police to conduct such checks and ask people to respect their "LOCAL LAWS" instead of assaulting and damaging private property.

It is easy to pass comments sitting from the comfort of your home, put yourself in the shoes of the driver of that car when he is confronted by hooligans with stones with all the intent to harm him and his family.

Let's make one thing clear, personally for me ,the issue is not about self driven cars or the private cars.
The reason I am pissed off with the actions of the Ladakh Taxi Mafia is because if we let them have their way, this will be a precedent for other vested interests to start passing "LOCAL LAWS and BANS" in other states and possibly entire country.
Will we be able to travel anywhere safely without the fear of being assaulted and extorted?

I am sure, most of the members agree with my views.

We need to nip such unlawful laws and bans in the bud, lest we bring it upon ourselves to be looted and extorted.

The reason "Corruption" is a big social problem in India is because we didn't resist the corruption when it was a small problem. Now it has grown to such cancerous proportion that it has become part and parcel of our lives.
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Old 25th July 2015, 10:19   #291
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

These are cold observations from me, not opinions, so if they upset some people, not much I can do about it, since they are facts.

I still want to know why the audio in the dashcam was suppressed. Maybe a proper forensic examination by the authorities will establish this. Till then, to my mind, non-audio dashcam footage is suspect.

I also know one more thing - in broad daylight, in what appears to be a fairly open and well trafficked place, if local people stop me, I stop and talk nicely to them. Always has worked. Again, we don't have the audio, as yet.

As for comforts - I've been on those roads since 1974, without making a song and dance about it or strutting about like show-offs, on every form of transport from scooters to Maruti vans to oil tankers and more, and know what a major pain most of the private vehicles from the plains can be and are. My photographs from 1974 of Rohtang, for example, are used as reference points variously.

The proposal for special hilly area driving licences has been pending for long and can be implemented with a local law. May happen soon. Good. Everybody needs this, like yesterday.

I've also seen how the same local taxi/auto only rules are applied in and around other cities of India to other taxi/auto, often also against private vehicles, and not just in tourist areas. The 30-day rule in Karnataka is just one example. Another one is to try and pick up a passenger in a taxi/auto from some Metro stations in NCR and see what happens, why not take your rental yellow-plate or even yellow-on-black plate vehicle to a Metro Station or Airport and try and pick up passengers, see what happens? Will any of you work towards letting the JK-10 cabs pick up passengers from or work in the plains in the winters?

Get real with realities. Who tried to drive over the old man with the white cap who fell in front of the dashcam footage FIRST??
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Old 25th July 2015, 10:37   #292
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

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Originally Posted by kaushik_s View Post
Can we please have the audio in that video please?
Quote:
Originally Posted by malq View Post
(Surpising to observe that sound appears to have been suppressed).
Quote:
Originally Posted by malq View Post
I still want to know why the audio in the dashcam was suppressed. Maybe a proper forensic examination by the authorities will establish this. Till then, to my mind, non-audio dashcam footage is suspect.

I also know one more thing - in broad daylight, in what appears to be a fairly open and well trafficked place, if local people stop me, I stop and talk nicely to them. Always has worked. Again, we don't have the audio, as yet.
I believe a lot of dashcams are video only so possibly there IS no audio here. Not sure how much of the discussion would have truly got captured anyhow, unless there were microphones all across the vehicle.

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Originally Posted by malq View Post
Let there be a rule that duly licenced, duly trained, duly certified and duly insured drivers will only be permitted to drive on certain roads.
Amen. We have only "Ghat Certified" drivers allowed to drive in few places for exactly this reason. The issue here does not seem training though rather being part of a union or not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by malq View Post
Who tried to drive over the old man with the white cap who fell in front of the dashcam footage FIRST??
Is that what you believe happened here? Really? I beg to differ in how I am perceiving the sequence of events.

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 25th July 2015 at 10:51. Reason: Typo.
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Old 25th July 2015, 10:38   #293
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Now we'll simply have to add 2 more items to our Ladakh trip if at all we go
1.Armoured car
2.Private armed guards

These goons will simply continue doing this until any strict action is taken. I am glad that the people in the car were not hurt. This will only reduce the already seasonal income of ladakhi people. This is real life case of killing the chicken that lays golden eggs. What these goons don't realize is today they've gotten away with it. But 2/3 years down the line there won't be any people visiting there.
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Old 25th July 2015, 10:53   #294
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

Seeing the video, I never expected these Taxi drivers to be such Thugs.

I don't agree with the above posts on having a dual license or whatever it is. With due respect, that system is rubbish. The license test in India is a badly organised thing, but that's a different topic.

When we have a car, we can drive anywhere we want on legal roads. Period. Who are the taxi drivers to stop and question us?

If the government wants, they can convert certain roads in the Ladakh to restricted ones, accessible by licensed tourist operators? Will the govenment do that ? No. Licensing tour operators is a big headache for them and there are too many in Ladakh.

I have a feeling that the government will not step into this muddle here as this "Taxi Mafia" is too big and they have taken the laws into their own hands.

The easiest option is to dissuade people from going to Ladakh. Tourism is the main source of income there, and if the locals suffer in the peak season, they'll know to do better than to indulge in these malpractices.


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Originally Posted by blackwasp View Post
Now we'll simply have to add 2 more items to our Ladakh trip if at all we go
1.Armoured car
2.Private armed guards
Instead of spending on the above, just fly to the nearest airport and hire a car from a reliable operator.
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Old 25th July 2015, 10:57   #295
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

@ASHND:
This doesn't look to me as unprovoked or randomly picked. In my opinion, it clearly looked like they were already waiting for this particular vehicle (00:18-00:25). They calmly let the previous vehicles go by.

Just uploading one bit of video is not enough for anyone to determine if it was provoked or not. Also, there is no audio. What is the reason for muting the audio? Can you post every dash cam video with sound of every passing by/interaction with these taxi fellows? Some altercation seem to have happened by this driver and with representatives of taxi union previously which has provoked this cold attack.

Please stop adding info bit by bit/uploading videos bit by bit. The sequence of posting, awaiting local responses, then posting video and all this is making me think as if you guy have a script in mind and going accordingly. Sorry if I sound rude, but that's what I perceive and am being honest about it.

Again, no matter what, violence is not justifiable. These guys should be booked and jailed.

Last edited by funkykar : 25th July 2015 at 11:13.
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Old 25th July 2015, 11:26   #296
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The issue of private and self-drive rentals being harassed and banned in Leh is now much bigger than the incident that took place on 11th July 2015.

As I've pointed out earlier, the only reason to post it on Team BHP was to warn others of the danger. We are lucky to have the dashcam footage that's been posted, the occupants of the vehicle were not recording audio at all. This is not in any way 'dubious', its common practise with dash cams and action cameras. I've myself used a Go Pro camera with the audio recording turned off as it didnt record audio too well with its waterproof casing and I was only wanting to capture the drive.

If anyone has any doubts and believes that these taxi-criminals (as I shall now address them) are a peaceful and hospitable bunch, feel free to visit Leh in your own vehicle.

My only request is that instead of micro-analysing the footage (that we're lucky to have), please focus on the larger issue of curtailing of your and my freedom to drive anywhere in our own country.

And by the way, the old 'gent' has been identified by some other travellers from Leh as being a sort of a mafia leader. He did not fall or get hit, he tried to lie down in front of the Fortuner to stop it whilst they were smashing the vehicle's rear windows. Infact the Gypsy you see was a crew vehicle from the convoy, and when its occupants got out to intervene, they were threatened with physical harm and asked to move on, hence you see them cross the Fortuner and slow down. When such a mob gathers you cannot reason with them once they turn destructive.

Please also note that this is only the first attack at Karu. The second attack was even more ghastly. We were not even approached, stones were pelted from a distance on our 'private' vehicle.

Read about this 'old gent' below:
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Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!-chowgule.png  

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Old 25th July 2015, 11:37   #297
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Dude, you don't owe any explanations. If anyone wants to microanalyse, understand the social cause, or get to the root, prevention cure etc, it's their prerogative, and they can do their own research into this. For the majority, the video is sufficient to build the perception of greed infestation.
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Old 25th July 2015, 11:48   #298
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

Quote:
Originally Posted by malq View Post
Who tried to drive over the old man with the white cap who fell in front of the dashcam footage FIRST??
I had a look at the video several times.

The man wearing the cap somehow fell in front of the fortuner when it was very slowly turning towards the road after the attack began. The driver in fact *stopped* when he came to realize that someone had fallen in front of the car - when the other attackers indicated that someone had fallen. In fact , the driver stopped even in the midst of being attacked, not many people would have done that ! There was no attempt to run over the man, the attempt was to prevent the man from being run over, by stopping the vehicle.

And then the man gets up and hurls a stone !

As for the lack of audio, perhaps there is no audio to begin with, but ashnd can explain that part better.

EDIT : Saw the response from ashnd after I posted this.

Last edited by sdp1975 : 25th July 2015 at 11:58.
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Old 25th July 2015, 11:56   #299
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

Quote:
Originally Posted by malq View Post
Look at the dashcam video again carefully. (Surpising to observe that sound appears to have been suppressed).
Unlike a Rally drive, it was a personal drive with family. Many people mute the audio during such drives.

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Originally Posted by speedmiester View Post
How on Earth can you justify the actions of the goons who are blocking the path of the car in question?
Who are they to block and inspect vehicles? Why didn't they involve local police to conduct such checks and ask people to respect their "LOCAL LAWS" instead of assaulting and damaging private property.
All these Local Laws / Bans and this "Outsiders" thing remind me of how Bangalore RTO treats "outsider" vehicles. When somebody in plain clothes stops your vehicle, you don't know who / what it is for.

Sad indeed.
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Old 25th July 2015, 12:02   #300
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Default Re: Car convoy attacked in Ladakh by taxi mafia!

I too had a dash cam and always switch off audio recording. Mainly to prevent personal talk between family members getting recorded. Then it will be a problem to post in public forums. Further the dash cam records car audio. You tube does not allow videos with copy right songs in the back ground. Of course, audio can deleted, but requires time and effort. So to avoid all this , I always mute audio in my dash cam.

May be in this case too, they might have muted the audio. It can only ascertained by forensic analysis, if audio is erased or not recorded at all
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