Road rage: Assault on BMTC bus drivers

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Bengaluru. JUNE 22,
Two BMTC bus drivers were allegedly beaten up by angry motorists in Banashankari in separate incidents.
In the first incident, Ravi B.S., 38, a BMTC driver was heading to Majestic from Banashankari bus stand. He was intercepted by three men on a scooter, who assaulted him on the busy K.R. Road, on Monday around 8 p.m.
In his complaint, Ravi said that the accused were trying to overtake the bus from the left side. They allegedly shouted and abused him for not letting them pass, but he ignored them. The trio intercepted the bus near Uma Maheshwar temple. One of them smashed the window next to the driver seat with a spanner.
Injuries
Ravi sustained injuries on his cheek and forehead when the glass shattered. A woman police constable, who was seated close to him, was also injured.
In the second incident, three men on a motorcycle allegedly assaulted BMTC driver D.J. Swamy, accusing him of blocking a road in Banashankari, on Tuesday afternoon.
Swamy had parked his bus at the designated bus stop near Banashankari temple when the trio allegedly abused him while accusing him of blocking their way. When Swamy objected, they allegedly assaulted him up, he told the police. Based on their complaints, the police have taken up two cases under Sections 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of duty), 504 (breach of peace) and 323 (assault).
“We are verifying CCTV footage to identify the accused,” a senior police officer said.
V. Ponnuraj, Managing Director, BMTC, said the transport corporation had come across at least five such cases in the last two months, and in none of them were BMTC staff at fault. “In one case, a driver was beaten up. As the incident happened near a bus stand, the other drivers joined him in retaliating. We are training our staff when it comes to interacting with passengers and others. At the same time, we request motorists to be patient. If they have a problem with our staff, we have multiple grievance redressal forums,” he said.

Vinay Sreenivasa from the Bus Prayanikara Vedike agreed. “There are complaints about buses being driven rashly or of not being stopped at designated stops. But there are more cases of harassment of drivers. It is very difficult to drive buses in Bengaluru. Plus, drivers are given unrealistic targets, as the BMTC has not revised its schedule for several years. Bus workers also need a proper grievance redressal mechanism,” he said.

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