When V Ramapriya (name changed) could no longer bear the sexual and verbal harassment by her fellow-passengers during her omni bus journey to Chennai, she asked the vehicle’s additional driver to switch on the lights immediately. The callous driver, however, barked back at her: “Do you think that for the Rs 500 you pay for the ticket, you can talk so much and order us around?” He refused to switch on the light.
“At 6.15 am, as the bus was nearing Tambaram, she called police control room - 100 - and they relayed the message to us,” the officer said. “The two youth also called somebody from their cell phone,” he said.
When the bus reached Koyambedu at 6.40 am, a special police team comprising Inspector Sam Vincent and woman sub-inspector T Nadia lay in wait for them.
Ramapriya’s ordeal continued when an auto driver suddenly pounced on her and began to berate her: “What is the need for a complaint? Have you been raped? You look like a prostitute and you encouraged them.”
Aid for the doctor came in the form of two Good Samaritans, who stayed back with her and narrated what happened in the bus. Later the auto driver confessed that it was to his number that the duo had made a call from the bus. “Initially, I thought I would not arrest the driver, but the victim’s words about the driver’s culpability in the December 16 Delhi gang-rape incident came as an eye-opener,” the inspector said.
“If the two youth harassed me physically, the driver killed me verbally,” Vincent quoted the woman doctor as saying. She insisted on filing a complaint against the four men, who were identified as S Saravanan (19), an engineering student, G Gurushyam (19), a temple priest, J Shivakumar (33), an auto driver from Chinmaya Nagar in Koyambedu and bus driver D Gnanadurai (53) from Tiruchy.