Taxi Mafia attacks self-drive vehicle convoy in Ladakh, hurts three tourists, damages vehicles

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Royal Enfield Himalayan Odyssey 2013 (63)

Image of Himalaya region for representation purpose only

The tourism and hospitality fraternity is filled with courteous, well-behaved and polite people. But like any other profession, there are a bunch of morons who spoil the name of the entire industry/region because of their personal, short term benefits. One such incident surfaces from the beauteous region of Leh-Ladakh which is flocked by tourists from July to October every year.

What was suppose to be a pleasant drive experience for a convoy exploring the picturesque and romantic outdoor of Leh-Ladakh turned into an ghastly experience after a group of local taxi operators reportedly attacked the self-drive rental and private vehicle caravan in one of most visited places in Jammu and Kashmir. A Team-BHP member with profile name Ashnd recounts his panic-stricken experience from the land of high passes and how a family holiday turned into a woeful experience for him and fellow visitors.

Private cars attacked in Leh-Ladakh - 2

Windshield of the SUV shattered

As described on the forum, the 15-vehicle convoy, comprising of two self-drive rental vehicles, was attacked with stones and iron rods by local taxi operators, shattering the windows and bodywork of the cars. Worse, it created a frightening experience for the visitors from whom the locals earn their bread and butter. The tourists somehow managed to escape the mob but the taxi operators were not willing to let the visitors get away so easily. The taxi mafia had another irksome surprise for the tourists. The convoy was once again trapped by the mob on the road leading to the main Leh roundabout. All the private vehicles were once again surrounded and hurled with stones, hurting three members from the convoy.

“One by one, ALL our private vehicles were stoned and attacked. They paid no regard to occupants of the vehicle and huge stones were hurled at private vehicles. Three in our convoy sustained minor injuries,” wrote the forum member.

Private cars attacked in Leh-Ladakh - 1

The forum member further added that a policeman was standing in front of the crowd, gesturing the sightseers to stop rather than engaging with the crowd. Vacationers were also discouraged from registering an FIR with no concrete action being taken against the offenders. The taxi drivers were again tail-gating the convoy, trying to instigate the visitors to get into a tussle.

We understand that local taxi operators depend on tourists for their daily earnings and self-driven rental vehicles affect their business to a certain extent. But this does not give them any right to threaten the tourists opting for better, well-maintained self driven rentals or their personal cars. People have a right to opt for vehicles according to their convenience rather than travelling in ill-maintained cabs operated in one of the most treacherous regions of the world. The occupants of the vehicles suffered from immense physical and mental harassment and the Leh-Ladakh Ministry of Tourism should take strict action against culprits for this act of shame that undoubtedly would severely affect the tourism dependent region.

This outrageous episode has left us furious and I, as a writer, am really trying to hold back my words. You can read the first-hand experience in the source link below.

Source: Team-BHP Thread

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  • A.H Radhu says:

    People should understand why it has happened actually.. LADAKH is a place were the only source of income is tourism and that too for 03 months. So in Leh people are trying protect it by not allowing non locals to do direct business be it Travel Agency, Hotel OR Transportation. This year a company called “ZOOM CAR” tries to do business directly. Taxi Union doesn’t have objection even if they bring in and take back their clients but inside LEH sightseeing needs to be left for them… so judge your self is it fair OR not. AND one thing people travelling in their own private Veh. are most welcomed.. no one stops them but commercials not allowed.

  • A.H Radhu says:

    Sir, you are wrong.. there is no restriction in travelling in & out of Leh in any of taxis; Srinagar / jammu / Himachal / Delhi etc. but yes you can’t do sight seeing in any outside commercial Veh. as local people lose their business..

  • garry says:

    Check the video, Ladakhis have lost their mind!

  • Gaurav says:

    Go back to the TBHP post and look at the video. Doesn’t seem at all like what you described.
    I saw a bunch of people singling out a Fortuner and then ramming it with stones ON DASH CAM. Watch it and then post.

  • Thank you for sharing the other side of the story. Now although the SUV owner may have driven recklessly, the locals, instead of attacking the vehicle, could have contacted law enforcers and taken legal action the driver instead of taking law in their own hands. Wouldn’t you agree with the fact that two wrongs do not make a right.