Almost a fortnight after the gang-rape of a physiotherapy student in a moving bus, a 16-year-old girl travelling in an Orange “cluster scheme” bus was molested by a drunken conductor of another bus at Mandi House in the heart of New Delhi on Saturday night.

The accused has been arrested and molestation charges have been slapped against him. He, along with the bus driver and its conductor, has been dismissed from service. It all happened around 11 p.m. in the bus plying on route No.410 from Khyala Resettlement Colony to Jal Vihar Terminal. Finding the teenaged girl alone in the moving bus, accused Ranjit Singh, who worked as a conductor in another bus running on the same route, approached her, proposed marriage and groped her. The girl panicked and pleaded with the conductor to stop the bus, but driver and its conductor silently watched the accused misbehave with her.

The bus driver, who had lost his way due to traffic diversions in the area because of the ongoing Delhi Metro construction activity, stopped at Mandi House to make enquiries. Two constables on regular picket duty spotted the girl weeping inside the bus and swung into action. The driver Prahlad Singh, its conductor Tejbir and accused Ranjit were taken into custody for questioning. The bus was impounded.

Investigations revealed that after a quarrel with her parents, the girl had left home around 9-30 p.m. on Saturday and boarded the bus in Khyala, after she was told that it was going towards Lajpat Nagar where she wanted to take shelter in an orphanage. There were nearly a dozen passengers in the bus who all got off one after the other along the way and she was left alone in the bus in the company of the driver, its conductor and accused Ranjit.

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