An angry mob comprising more than 500 people burned down a private bus that hit a motor cycle on Thursday morning killing a 58 year old man, Sasidharan, and his teenaged daughter, Athira. The crowd turned irate because over-speeding on the art of the bus had caused the accident, an eye witness said.

The bus was operating its routine schedule from Chavara to Adoor at the time of the accident. Athira was a Pus Two student at the Sasathamcotta Higher Secondary School. Sasidharan was taking her to the tuition centre. It was while taking a deviation to reach the tuition centre that the bus knocked them down and ran over them, killing both on-the-spot.

Eye witnesses said that Sasidharan had flashed his right hand indicator and even signalled his hand as he was taking the deviation.

But the bus that was speeding ignored the turn signals. Immediately after the accident, which occurred at 7.45 a.m., the driver brought the bus to a halt and the crew fled the scene.

Prior to setting the bus ablaze, the mob poured out their fury by attacking the bus and smashing the windshields. Later when they moved forward to burn the bus they were blocked by a police team from the nearby Sooranad police station. But the mob attacked the police team and set the bus on fire. Police sub inspector, R. Shukoor was injured in the attack.

Soon afterwards when personnel from the Fire and Rescue Service (FRS) arrived at the scene to put out the fire, the crowd blocked them and prevented them from putting out the fire. The situation was brought under control with the arrival of police reinforcements. But when the FRS personnel put out the fire, the mob made another attempt to again set the bus on fire.

This time the police resorted to a lathi charge and the mob retaliated with stone throwing. The Sasthamcotta sub inspector, A. Abilash and three constables were injured in the stone throwing. As the situation turned further tense, the mob dropped the plan to burn the bus again.

Police have registered two separate cases in connection with the incidents. One was against the bus crew for rash driving resulting in the death of Sasidharan and Athira and the other against identifiable five hundred persons for rioting, arson and setting the bus on fire.

Police said that the crew of the bus is absconding.

People living in the area meanwhile said that due to over speeding especially during morning and evening hours, private buses have turned virtual killers on the Chavara-Adoor route, which has several sharp turns on the narrow road. According to residents, many fatal accidents have taken place along the route in the recent past. Competition between bus crew to collect the maximum number of commuters is the main cause for over speeding. In spite of repeated complaints, the authorities have failed to take the required action against the bus crew, they alleged.

Keywords: road mishap

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