Four employees of Jabbar Travels were taken into custody on Thursday in connection with the fire on a Volvo bus in Palem in Mahbubnagar district on October 30 that claimed 45 lives.

Shabbir, Akram, Amanullah Shareef and Rafique were picked up by a team of the Crime Investigation Department of Andhra Pradesh, which is looking for two more persons — Jameel and Jabbar.

In Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh Transport Minister B. Satyanarayana said that the investigation by the Transport Department and the CID is proceeding on the right lines. “No effort would be spared in bringing those responsible to book,” he declared.

Speaking about the probe into the circumstances that led to the accident and other aspects concerning violations of the Motor Vehicles Act, Transport Commissioner G. Anantha Ramu said that while they had registered cases for violations of the MV Act, the whole case pertained to Karnataka, jurisdiction-wise.

“The officials have not followed proper procedure while arresting them,” Shakeel Jabbar, owner of Jabbar travels, told The Hindu.

“We learnt of the arrest only when we saw the news on television. We contacted our staff who told us that they are in the custody of the Andhra Pradesh CID and have been taken away from Bangalore. They are employees of the firm but had nothing to do with the accident, ” Mr. Shakeel Jabbar said.

Shabbir is an accounts manager of the company, Akram was looking after maintenance of vehicles while Rafiq and Amaan are booking staff.

According to Mr. Jabbar, the CID team had reached Bangalore on Thursday. They summoned the four employees to a guest house on Magadi Road “to record their statement”. As soon the four reached the guest house, they were allegedly whisked out of the city.

Two months ago, the police had arrested Shakeel Jabbar along with the driver of the bus. Both are out on bail.

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