204 attacks in 120 days! Concerned over the alarming rise in the number of attacks against them, the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) staff are wracking their brains to wake the management up from deep slumber.
Unfortunately, an attempt by the CITU-affiliated employees’ association to invite the attention of the public into the issue has courted a fresh controversy with the management jumping into action against the ‘gross indiscipline’ leaving the original issue unattended.
The controversy sparked off after the Kerala State Road Transport Employees Association (KSRTEA) pasted stickers on KSRTC buses seeking public intervention against ‘police-goonda’ attack on employees.
The management responded to this by issuing an order the other day seeking immediate removal of the posters.
’The sticker portray the police in bad light and is in violation of the rules,’’ said K M Irshad, executive director of the Corporation, who issued the order.
‘’We have directed all station officers to ensure that the stickers are removed by Friday night,’’ he said. The swift response by the top officials has come as a surprise to the employees.
“They did nothing when the staff were brutally attacked by anti-social elements and police officials,’’ said Jose Jacob, general secretary of the KSRTEA.
Drivers’ Union general secretary Ayyappan said that the attack on KSRTC staff by police had to be considered serious.
“Safety of the employees has become a cause for concern. But campaigns against the police will only worsen the issue,’’ he said.
According to the KSRTEA, there were 204 instances in the past three months in which the Corporation staff were manhandled.
‘’The statistics with the KSRTC chief office says there were 65 cases of manhandling happened between March 1 and May 31 alone. This does not include incidents in which police cases were not registered,’’ Jose Jacob said.
The KSRTC management is also accused of not convening a meeting with police officials in the wake of the rising number of attacks.
Two years ago when a similar situation arose, the Corporation had convened a meeting which was attended by the Director-General of Police.