Students beat up MTC driver for objecting to footboard travel

The schoolboys ignored repeated warnings of the bus crew and commuters

A driver of Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) was beaten up by school students in K.K.Nagar on Monday when he objected to travelling on footboard.

The victim, T.Manohar, 49, was driving the bus 12- G from K.K.Nagar bus terminus towards Anna Square with his colleague Kulaindasamy in the conductor seat.

At 8.30 a.m, a group of school students boarded the bus at Sivan Park and insisted on standing on the footboard.

The driver asked them to get inside so that he could close the door. They ignored the repeated warnings of the crew and other commuters.

Rajan, one of the passengers, said, “After another group of students boarded the bus at Kamarajar Salai, the driver managed to close the door. The boys then travelled by holding on to the iron pole outside the door and some of them clung to the windows. They continued to travel dangerously despite our warnings.”

Caught unawares

When the bus reached the next bus stop, the number of students was more than other passengers. They continued to hang from the door and windows.

Irritated at their behaviour, the driver got down from his seat and tried to chase the students away. The students encircled him and beat him up.

Since the doors were closed, the other passengers and the conductor could not come out to rescue him. Two college students joined the group that attacked the driver.

Even as the passersby came to his rescue, the students escaped from the spot. Manohar was taken to the nearby ESI Hospital for treatment. The K.K.Nagar police inspector said, “Based on a complaint from the driver, we enquired into the incident.”

Though the city police has curbed the menace of route thala and bus day celebrations, schoolboys travelling on footboards of buses are still a common sight on city roads.

“We are facing this menace everyday. Around half the bus services have been cut in this area and there is shortage of bus services to cater to the need during school hours in the morning. Transport department should increase the number of services in commensurate with population of students. Police personnel also increase patrol to monitor them during peak hour,” said P.Balakrishnan, district secretary of CITU south Chennai unit.

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