CHENNAI: Two men armed with knives allegedly cornered a sleeper bus, barged in and threatened the driver of a KPN Travels bus near Koyambedu bus stand on Wednesday night. While one of them was caught by a police patrol team, another is still at large.
The bus was going from Chennai to Coimbatore and had travelled just 15 metres from the depot when the incident took place at 11 pm.
The accused, Ganesh and Dinesh, hit one of the indicators at the back with a stone. When the driver, Pothi Raj (59) walked out to check what had happened, the two men flashed their knives and asked him to get into the bus and move.
“Dinesh stood guard outside while Ganesh forced me into the bus. He asked me repeatedly to make the bus roll. Just as I was about to, he hit the steering wheel with his knife four times. I managed to avoid getting hurt but got a small nick on my right thigh. Thank god my hands weren’t on the steering wheel!” he said. After this, Ganesh, went on to give a solid blow just below Raj’s neck with the back of the knife. But the driver did not suffer any major injury.
“Everything that happened is a blur,” said Raj. “I was very scared because he looked like he was not in his senses and could do anything. I don’t know what he wanted or why he did it because he never asked me for anything – phone, money, watch or jewellery. He did not even approach the passengers as he had locked the door.” Soon after, the sound of the highway police siren made the two men panic. Ganesh quickly unlocked the main door and began running with his friend Dinesh trailing him.
“Dinesh was not fast enough and so was caught by police in no time,” said the manager of KPN Travels, K Ganesan, “In the mean time, Ganesh managed to cross the road and disappear. His accomplices were parked near a petrol outlet nearby. The moment they saw him running, they too got on their vehicles and sped.”
Ganesan explained that Ganesh had booked an online ticket for the journey with KPN Travels to Coimbatore. He had reached the spot around 9 pm for the 10.30 pm journey and was waiting outside the depot with a group of friends. One of the passenger’s relatives had seen them drinking when he had come to drop off his family members.
At around 10 pm, Ganesh entered the KPN Travels office to enquire when the bus would leave. This has been captured on the CCTV camera in the office.
The arrested man, Dinesh, is from Tiruvallur. During the questioning, he told the police that his friends too live in and around Tiruvallur. Police said investigations were on to nab the miscreants. The motive was still not known.