A press conference was organised on June 10 at Press club office, Leh by Ladakh Bikers Cooperative Limited alleging the Manali Bikers Association for keeping 35 bikers of Leh under hostage for 4 days in Manali. The incident took place on June 5. Earlier, also 20 bikes were forcibly loaded in the truck and send back to Ladakh on June 3.
Tashi Chotak, President Ladakh Bikers Cooperative Limited said, “From many years when Leh-Manali road opens, the bikers of Leh pick and drop the tourist to Manali. But this time when our bikers went to pick up the tourist, the Manali Bikers Association created a problem. They said that Leh bikers are not allowed to ply on the highway to highway.
“We complained about the incident to police Leh, but instead of helping us SSP Leh has blamed us for the whole thing,” he added.
He further said that it was only after the intervention of Dr. Sonam Dawa, CEC that they released the bikes on the fifth day. He assured every help from Council. He also informed that the Manali bikers are doing 70-80% of business in Ladakh however, on the other hand only a few bikers of Ladakh are doing business in Manali.
Tashi Chotak said that Ladakhi Bikers have unanimously decided that both the Bikers Association will pick and drop the client from Serchu, for which a circular has already been distributed among the stakeholders.
Rinchen Angdu, Vice President Ladakh Bikers Cooperative Limited alleged, “We have the license to operate within the state, but the Manali Bikers Association doesn’t even have the commercial license to operate within their state. Even though they trade in Ladakh, our question is that since they don’t have right to operate in their own states how is it possible to operate in Ladakh and snatch our business as well as employment opportunity of youths”
The Ladakhi Bikers informed that there are 72 commercial license holders in Leh and around 1600 bikes. More than 500 youths are being employed under these 72 tour operator.