TIRUNELVELI: Workers of the TNSTC staged a five-hour long sit-in protest and refused to operate buses at Papanasam depot on Thursday. They were demanding the arrest of three individuals who recently hacked a driver and a conductor of a government bus in Veeravanallur.
According to sources, driver Reji, a resident of Kanniyakumari, and conductor Kannan, of Mukkudal, were attacked near Veeravanallur, while operating a bus from Papanasam to Tirunelveli. Three men had waylaid the bus with their two-wheeler near Kallidaikurichi, and two of them boarded the vehicle. The bus driver and conductor got into a tiff with the two men over not boarding the bus from a bus station.
When the bus reached Veeravanallur, the third accused arrived with a sickle. Subsequently, one of the accused hacked Reji, leaving him severely injured on his face. Kannan also sustained injuries. While the assailants fled the scene, the crew was rushed to the Tirunelveli Medical College Hospital. The Veeravanallur police have launched a search for the assailants based on the CCTV footage obtained.
On Thursday, the workers condemned the attack and staged a protest. The protest came to an end after Cheranmahadevi Sub-Collector Mohammed Shabbir Alam and Ambasamudram Tahsildar Sumathi held talks with the operators and assured necessary action. Meanwhile, AIADMK General Secretary Edappadi K Palaniswami blamed the state government for not ensuring safety of government staff.