KOCHI: The Maradu Police in Kochi on Monday arrested two staff and confiscated the bus of Kallada Travels (Suresh Kallada), a popular long-distance private bus operator, a day after three employees assaulted two passengers.
The video of the assault went viral on the social media, forcing the police to take action. The staff of the Kallada Travels bus, which began its journey to Bengaluru from Thiruvananthapuram on Saturday, entered into a scuffle with the passengers after the latter questioned the delay when the bus broke down in Haripad in Alappuzha. The staff later thrashed the passengers when the bus reached Vyttila at 4 am on Sunday. The two staff arrested are Jayesh and Jithin, police said, adding that the search for the third accused Girilal is on.
“It all started when the luxury bus was broke down at Haripad. The bus was stopped for over two hours and the passengers got into an argument with the driver. The passengers have intimated the police. Though the passengers were shifted to another bus of the journey resumed, the bus halted at Vyttila in front of the office of Kallada Travels,” said Maradu Police Station SI Byju P Baby.
The Kallada manager earlier claimed the youths used the foul language after picking up a quarrel with the bus crew saying there was a delay in arranging alternative transit. But according to police officers, the CCTV visuals show the Travels staff assaulting the youths. “We see this as a grave offense and there will stringent action against the accused,” said Byju.
Transport Commissioner Sudesh Kumar has sought a report regarding the incident from the Motor Vehicle Department. “As per the orders, we have assigned a motor vehicle inspector to probe and submit the report of the incident. Procedures have been initiated to probe the incident and submit a report. Cancellation of the permit will be based on the report,” said Ernakulam RTO Joy P Jose.
Bus confiscated; Vyttila office close down
Meanwhile, State Police Chief Loknath Behra through a Facebook post said the police have confiscated the bus. “We have spoken to the Transport Commissioner about the incident and further actions of temporarily suspending the services of the bus will be sorted. Directions have been given to Southern region ADGP Manoj Abraham to send notice to the bus company owner,” he said. The police also contacted Jacob Philip, who had posted the original video of the assault on Facebook, and collected the required information. Stringent actions will be taken against the errant staff, said Behera. Following the complaints from several passengers, police also raided Travels’ office at Vyttila. Police said they has also close down the office.
Minister orders action against the culprits
T’Puram: Promising strict action in the incident where two passengers were allegedly beaten up by bus employees on board a inter-state bus, Transport minister said, “I have directed the transport commissioner and secretary to take severe legal action in the incident.” The minister informed that the police has already arrested the two accused and the permit of the bus has been cancelled. He said the police has directed the owners, Suresh Kallada group to present all of their buses and the required documents before the station.
Petition lands Kallada Travels in the soup
T’Puram: Kallada Travels is facing the heat after an online petition titled ‘Protect Bus Passenger Rights-BAN KALLADA TRAVELS’ was launched against them on the online petition forum ‘change.org’ by a Bengaluru based group Inter-State Bus Travellers Forum. They demand the government put up guidelines for inter-state bus operators and make sure it is followed while giving more power to customers than operators. They also urged the authorities to issue guidelines wherein, if a customer registers a complaint and is proven to be true, the operator will have exit the industry. Around 1,000 individuals have already signed the petition.