Punish driver accused of rape, spare officials: union

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The KSRTC Staff and Workers Federation on Monday questioned how two supervisory staff of the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) could be held responsible for the misconduct of a driver who allegedly attempted to rape a passenger. The Federation was referring to the attempted rape by a BMTC driver on March 14.

In a letter to BMTC managing director, the federation’s general secretary H.V. Ananthasubba Rao said while the misconduct of the driver, A.V. Siddarth, was deplorable, holding assistant traffic inspector M.G. Puttaraju and Traffic Controller (TC) H. Paramashivaiah responsible for his misconduct was whimsical. The BMTC should immediately revoke their suspension and stop all disciplinary actions against them, he said.

Many cases

Mr. Rao said the accused was facing as many as 36 departmental cases including one of attempt to rape and dacoity reported on May 14, 2012. Instead of initiating stringent action against him at the time, the BMTC suspended him for eight months and took him back on duty.

Had he been dismissed in 2012 there would not have been a repeated attempt. For this, action should be initiated against the divisional controller concerned, the federation said.

Referring to the sequence of events that resulted in the attempted rape, Mr. Rao said about 30 passengers were waiting for a bus plying towards Banashankari as one of the buses on the route was not operated. On their demand, the TC arranged a bus, meant for chartered services and driven by Siddarth.

The driver was not drunk as alleged by the management and the TC ensured he issued tickets to all passengers. Officials should understand how difficult it is to face the wrath of passengers, Mr. Rao said.

While the BMTC through a circular in December 2013 had banned operation of buses without conductors, the rule came to be strictly enforced after the alleged rape incident.

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