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Goa tourist cab strike enters second day

Panaji: The tourist taxi strike in Goa entered its second day Tuesday, with over 7,000 vehicles staying off the roads.

Angered by a lathi-charge and tear-gas attack by the police late Monday night and arrests of 10 taxi drivers, two major unions resolved to stretch the token one-day strike on Monday for another day.

"Our demands were simple. But we did not expect the police to attack us with lathis and fire tear-gas shells on us. Our strike has continued for the second day as a protest against the police action against us last night," Vinayak Nanoskar, general secretary of North Goa Tourist Taxi Owners Association, told IANS.

Nanoskar and the thousands of other taxi drivers have been protesting against the entry of a large private company operated fleet of radio cab service called 'Ola Cabs' in Goa.

While the service was announced in Goa earlier this month, a clarification issued by the state transport department Monday said that no official permission had been granted for the radio cab service.

Tourists, however, continue to face the brunt of the cab strike with thousands stranded at airports, railway stations and inter-state bus stops.

"We came with the idea of a holiday in mind. But I have not been able to get to a hotel with my family for three hours. It is unsafe here," said Soumyadip Bhattacharya, a Delhi-based advertising professional, who has been stranded at the Margao railway station.

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has said that he would meet taxi operators Feb 27 to sort out their demands.

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