CHENNAI: Vacation is over and colleges have reopened. But on the very first day, Chennai was treated to what it has forgotten for some time — Bus Day celebrations by college students during which they almost hijack government buses.
On Thursday, at least two Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) buses were diverted by the students who were heading to college for the first day after the summer vacation. On Poonamallee High Road, a group of students, believed to be from Pachaiyappa’s College, climbed into an MTC bus (route 41D) near TP Chatiram and nearly hijacked the bus.
Sources said two police officers — SSI Pon Samuel and SI Samuel — intervened and tried to retrieve the bus. But the students reportedly assaulted the police officers and pelted stones on them. A patrol vehicle in the vicinity went to their rescue and they were taken to a hospital.
The incident led to traffic pile-up on the Poonamallee High Road and resulted in traffic snarls.
In another incident, students of the Presidency College diverted an MTC bus into their campus as they wanted to celebrate “Bus Day”. Students of a few other colleges in the city also similarly climbed onto the buses in different areas.
The police have booked two Pachaiyappa’s College students — Sakthivel and his brother Manikandan. The police officers conducted meetings with college teachers, officials from Collegiate Education, MTC and college managements regarding the issue.
Banned, but who cares?
Bus Day is a tradition closely associated with students from Pachaiyappa’s, Presidency and Nandanam Arts and Science colleges where students washed, decorated and took a happy ride from their colleges to the respective bus depot
Sometimes students ‘grabbed’ MTC buses plying on their route and pushed them into trees within the campus by force. Some would climb on to rooftops of buses and dance to loud music by bands specially roped in for the occasion
But the harmonious practice turned ugly after two successive mishaps on Poonamallee High Road and Nochikuppam in 2011. Following this, Bus Day celebrations were banned by the Tamil Nadu government and the Madras High Court