2 held for assault on passengers in Bengaluru bound bus

Photo from the assault on the bus

Two employees of Suresh Kallada Tours and Travels were arrested by the Kerala police on Monday in connection with the brutal assault on passengers in the Bengaluru bound bus during the wee hours of Sunday. The Kerala Motor Vehicles Department is also likely to suspend the permit of the tour operator as more complaints against the employees poured in on Monday.

Jayesh and Jithin, who were among those who assaulted the passengers, were arrested by the Maradu police near Vytialla in Kochi. One more employee Girilal would be arrested soon, police sources said.

While various sections of Indian Penal Code for causing hurt and abusing (IPC 323, 324, 294 and 34) were only invoked in the FIR, the police are likely to invoke more stringent sections in the wake of allegations that only weak sections were invoked.

While Kerala state police chief Loknath Behera said that stern action would be taken against the accused, Kerala Transport Commissioner Sudhesh Kumar said that the permit of the bus would be suspended immediately. Driving licences of the driver may be also suspended.

The bus that returned to Kerala from Bengaluru on Monday was taken into custody by the police for forensic examinations. Police also seized documents pertaining to the bus from the operator’s office in Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi. The police would be also collecting statements from other passengers in the bus. The police already got in touch with Jacob Philip, an entrepreneur, who posted the video of the brutal assault on social media.

Mr. Philip, who was a passenger on the bus, even got threatening calls from those associated with the bus operator for posting the video.

Ajayagosh, one of the passengers who suffered the assault, was undergoing treatment at a hospital in Kochi. He gave a detailed account of the incident that was a sequel to the indifferent attitude of the bus operators after the Bangalore bound bus broke down during the wee hours of Sunday near Harippad in Alappuzha district.  Three youths were roughed up by about a dozen employees of the tour operator as the youths protested against the delay in making alternative arrangements while the bus broke down.

The bus operator, however, maintained that the youth attacked the employees initially and caused injury on the nose to one of the employees also.

Meanwhile, more persons, including a Kerala former MLA, on Monday revealed about the harrowing experiences from the bus operator. Former MLA Abdurahiman Randathani alleged that the bus operators behaved rudely when he and his friend questioned about the delay in a special bus from Thiruvananthapuram to Kozhikode for which they booked tickets at almost double the normal fare about a month back. A college teacher in Thiruvananthapuram alleged that she and her daughter, along with a few other passengers, were once kept waiting indefinitely for a bus during the midnight in Tamil Nadu.

Various political parties on Monday staged protest marches to the officers of the Suresh Kallada bus operator at different places, including Vytilla in Kochi.

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