Transport Minister R. Ramalinga Reddy on Sunday said the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) had suspended the driver of a Pushpak bus, who allegedly attempted to rape a lone passenger on a bus on Thursday night. The corporation also suspended two supervisors at the Kempe Gowda Bus Station, for sending the bus without a conductor.
The driver, Siddhatha A.V., has been arrested by the police for attempting to rape a 23-year-old passenger and later pushing her out of the bus when she resisted. He has been remanded in judicial custody.
Passersby, who found the victim unconscious on the road, rushed her to the hospital. Though the victim informed the police about the incident and refused to file a complaint, the jurisdictional Chamarajpet police took up a suo motu case and arrested the driver.
The police said the victim, who hails from Punjab, came to the city to attend a banking test and was staying with a relative at Padmanabhanagar. She was returning to her relative’s place from Majestic after missing the train to her home town when the incident occurred. However, she missed the stop and came to Banashankari, the last stop where all passengers alighted. On her request to drop her at Padmanabhanagar since she was new to Bangalore, the driver took advantage of the situation and drove towards Majestic, the police said.
Midway, he stopped the bus and allegedly attempted to rape her, which the victim resisted. The driver pushed her out of the bus near KIMS Hospital and sped away. While doctors are yet to confirm sexual assault, she is undergoing treatment for multiple injuries as well as mental agony. The police have booked a case of outraging modesty of a woman, attempt to rob and murder against the accused.
Siddartha was earlier booked by the Yeshwantpur police in 2012 on charges of attempt to rape a woman colleague.
While the victim managed to escape, the accused had allegedly snatched her gold chain and mobile phone.
“I tried speaking to the woman, but she is not willing to speak. As of now, we only know the driver’s version, according to which there was no sexual assault. She allegedly bitten his hand during the journey. However, police have taken up a suo motu case against the driver,” Mr. Reddy said.
Mr. Reddy also clarified that there were no CCTV cameras installed in the bus. He said that every bus should have a conductor. However, the driver of this BMTC bus where the alleged incident took place was also doubling up as the conductor, he said. There are about 70 night buses in the city and 40 night-halt buses.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) H.S. Revanna said the girl and her family have refused to lodge a complaint with the police. “The girl is not forthcoming about the details. Even when Mr. Reddy met the girl and requested her to lodge a complaint, she refused. We have arrested the driver and a medical examination has been conducted on him.”
Hospital authorities said that her condition was stable but she was admitted in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) as she was under mental stress. Asked if she had any external injuries, the source refused to comment.