A driver and a woman conductor of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) have been suspended from service for allegedly roughing up an elderly couple at a bus depot in Palghar district neighbouring Mumbai after they questioned the driver for rash driving on a pothole-ridden road, officials said on Saturday.
In the video of the incident, which occurred on Friday, the conductor of the bus is seen chasing the couple after they alighted from the bus at the Wada bus depot and starts manhandling the man, while the woman is seen trying to save him. A few moments later the bus driver joins the conductor and pushes the man, who falls to the ground.
“The ST corporation is apologising for this incident. The corporation has taken immediate cognisance and suspended the concerned driver and conductor from service. This incident will be investigated by a high-level committee,” Shekhar Channe, vice chairman and managing director of MSRTC, said in a statement.
According to MSRTC officials, the driver Gorakhnath Nagargoja and the conductor Shital Pawar assaulted the couple at the Wada bus depot after they questioned the driver why he drove rashly on a pothole-ridden road.
Terming the incident “unfortunate”, Channe said the transport undertaking will never support beating up of passengers by ST employees. He said stringent action will be taken against the guilty after the probe is completed.
The MSRTC is the biggest public transport undertaking in the country with a fleet of more than 16,000 buses and around one lakh employees. Before the pandemic broke out, it used to ferry around 65 lakh passengers per day on its buses, but that number has gone down to 17 to 18 lakhs.