Private bus operator assaults driver and GMCBL driver
Gurugram: A private bus operator reportedly intercepted a Gurugram Metropolitan City Bus Limited (GMCBL) bus on Thursday and assaulted the driver and conductor.
The incident took place near the Airia mall in Sector 68 in Gurugram. The assailant attacked the driver and the driver with a bat, after breaking into the vehicle, officials said on Friday.
GMCBL officials also alleged that the driver of the private bus later reversed and rammed the GMCBL bus, smashing its rear view mirror and the front left door. It left the approximately 30 passengers on board in shock.
The incident was fueled by a fierce need to carry as many passengers as possible, and even to accommodate the volume of commuters on the GMCBL buses.
At around 10:15 a.m. Thursday, the GMCBL bus was moving from Gurugram bus station to Sohna bus station via route number 218, which generates maximum revenue.
Footage from a CCTV camera installed inside the tbus also surfaced on social media, where the suspects could be seen bursting inside the vehicle and assaulting the driver and driver.
Officials say this is the second such incident to occur on road number 218. A driver and driver of GMCBL were assaulted by a private operator near Rajiv chowk earlier this week.
“We face frequent incidents of operators assaulting our drivers and conductors on this route. Things are the same on Ballabgarh, Faridabad route as passenger volume is high on both of these routes. Private bus operators always strive to accommodate the maximum number of passengers,” a GMCBL official said.
According to GMCBL, 18 buses were running on Route 218 before COVID. The number has been reduced to 11 now.
Sandeep Kumar, the driver who was assaulted on Thursday, said private bus operators and drivers frequently threatened them to stay a kilometer behind their buses, and not overtake or move forward at any time. According to Kumar, operators use this tactic to increase their passenger volume and earn more, which leads to losses for GMCBL.
“We left Gurugram bus station at 9.37am while the private bus left at 9.30pm. Both arrived near Airia mall and picked up passengers. The private bus then stopped at a bend after Badshahpur and started picking up passengers. Our next stop was about half a mile ahead of us. Therefore, I moved forward, which angered the private bus driver. He and his assistant assaulted me and the bandleader Hawa Singh, who had tried to resist,” Kumar said.
GMCBL depot manager Arun Sharma said such incidents posed a threat to
passengers and public safety as well.
After Thursday’s incident, senior GMCBL officials said they now plan to meet with Police Commissioner Gurugram Kala Ramachandran to end the nuisance.
Officials said a complaint was lodged at Badshahpur police station after the incident, but had to be withdrawn after several phone calls to contract workers.
“This terrified the contract workers at the Sector 52 depot even more,” a senior official said.
Inspector Sandeep Kumar, Police Station Officer (SHO), Badshahpur Police Station, said that the police contacted GMCBL employees even on Friday to come and lodge a complaint for the registration of an FIR. “However, no one has come yet,” he said.
Upasana, Deputy Commissioner of Police (South), said a contract employee has submitted a written petition that he does not want to register an FIR this time.
“He wrote that the next time if such an assault is repeated, they will approach the police for an FIR. Due to such a scenario, we made a special log entry of the whole incident,” she said.
Upasana said she was inclined to register an FIR in the case because government property was involved. “Let me speak to SHO for recontacting GMCBL officials to get a registered FIR,” she said.