TIRUNELVELI: In a shocking incident, a private bus conductor suffered serious burn injuries when two drunk youths doused him with petrol and set him on fire at the Tirunelveli New Bus Stand on Tuesday.
Sources said that three drunken youths boarded a private bus that was operating between Kovilpatti and Tirunelveli at Gangaikondan. As the youths allegedly stood at the steps and created trouble for other passengers, one of the conductors, Selva asked the youths to get inside the bus. Following this, there was an altercation between Selva and the trio. As the trio continued to stand on the footboard and created trouble, Selva with the help of other passengers, including a police official, forced them to get down at Pandarakulam.
Later, two of the three, C Appadurai (23) and V Pethaperumal (25), residents of Perunkulam, near Srivaikundam, came to the Tirunelveli New Bus Stand with a bottle of petrol and again got into a verbal duel with the bus conductors of the private bus. While Selva was busy boarding passengers for the return trip at 6 pm, all of sudden the duo poured petrol on him, set him on fire and tried to flee. However, passengers get hold of them and handed them over to the police, sources said.
Selva, who suffered severe burn injuries all over his upper torso, is undergoing treatment at the Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital (TVMCH). “They initially came with a motive of burning the bus. I did not notice the petrol that they were covering with a towel. When I attempted to stop them, one of them doused me with petrol and the other set me on fire” said Selva.
Commenting about the incident, a person present in the bus said, “the conductor repeatedly asked the trio to get inside the bus from the steps, for which they doused him on fire.” A witness who chased the duo said, “they tried to flee, but we caught them and handed them over to the police.”
Melapalayam police registered a case and are investigating.