Seven hours of agony for commuters, councillor booked

Private express bus service from Udupi to Mangalore and Kundapur were paralysed for nearly seven hours on Monday after drivers and conductors of these buses resorted to a flash strike protesting against the assault on three bus drivers and a passenger by a group of five persons in Udyavar.

The incident happened around 8.40 p.m. on Sunday and Udupi City Municipal Council member from BJP Yashpal Suvarna was allegedly part of the group.

In a complaint filed with Kaup police, Dinesh, who was injured in the assault, said he was driving his bus from Mangalore to Udupi and upon reaching Udyavar Mr. Suvarna and other occupants of the car waylaid the bus and started attacking him. They attacked drivers of two other buses — Manjunath and Shamshuddin — plying on the same route. They also assaulted a bus passenger, Mr. Dinesh alleged. Mr. Suvarna, however, denied the charge and said the co-passengers in the car scolded the bus driver for reckless driving. “But I neither assaulted nor scolded anyone,” he said.

The striking bus drivers and conductors demanded immediate action against the assaulters. They said that though they had informed the police about the incident on Sunday night, the police were lax in taking action.

The district police tried to persuade the bus private drivers and conductors to resume the services. After some resistance, bus operators resumed service at 12.30 p.m.

Meanwhile, Kaup police said they had arrested four persons, including Mr. Suvarna. The arrested were later released on bail.

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