Several transport operators’ union gathered, on Monday, at the Jantar Mantar to stage a peaceful protest against the exorbitant hike in penalties as a result of the new amendments in the Motor Vehicles Act. United Front of Transport Association (UFTA), a joint front of transport associations and unions across all segments from Delhi-NCR, called for the protests where members raised slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and union transport minister Nitin Gadkari.

“More than 8,000 transport operators and drivers from various segments and regions of Delhi NCR have converged at Jantar Mantar today to vent out their anger against the exorbitant increase in penalties and collateral corruption, harassment and extortion by the police, RTOs and other authorities,” the association said in a statement.

The UFTA has also called for a strike (Chakka Jam) on September 19 calling for a complete shutdown of public transport services in the national capital including auto, cabs or state-run vehicles. The association said they are also planning to observe a complete shutdown of the famous Azadpur Mandi. UFTA has garnered support from transporters in Faridabad, Gurgaon, Noida, Ghaziabad and Rajasthan.

Rajinder Soni, UFTA vice president and leader of RSS-backed Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh said: “How will we be able to pay so much? When Nitin Gadkari increased the fine, he did not think about us. We will speak for whichever government will work for us.”