Don't stop school buses, ambulances for convoys: Plea before SHRC

The State Human Rights Commission has directed the director general of police to respond to a plea which calls for exempting school buses and ambulances from traffic restrictions during movement of government forces’ convoys.

After the 14 February militant attack on a CRPF convoy that killed 40 soldiers, the government had announced that civilian vehicles would have to stop when forces’ convoy pass by.

A couple of days ago, private schools association said the restrictions have disrupted class schedule because school buses too are stopped for convoys.

The SHRC doesn’t have jurisdiction over central government agencies, including security forces and other departments.

“This is why we have asked (only) the DGP to submit his report in the matter,” said an official of the SHRC.

SHRC direction came after rights activist Ahsan Untoo filed the petition seeking the exemption.

“Movement of vehicles including school buses and ambulances is halted and the general public faces tremendous hardships particularly the school-going children, employees and patients,” reads the petition, while pleading for exempting school buses and ambulances from the “ambit of restrictions”.

“Right to education is one of the fundamental rights given by the constitution and same cannot be curtailed or snatched by any government,” the petition said.

The petition states restriction on the movement of school buses amounts to denying schoolchildren their right to education as they have to wait for hours together on the roads during convoy movement.

“For the past 30 years the education system has been badly affected due to frequent strikes, curfews and crackdowns. Students get only limited time for schooling,” reads the petition.