KSRTC bus drivers coordinated with Uttar Kannada police to catch a man who allegedly stole cash and the mobile phone of a passenger on a Mangaluru-bound non-AC sleeper bus on Tuesday November 15.
Govind V. Kulkarni, a retired LIC employee, and four other activists of Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) from Belagavi were heading to Kundapura in Udupi district for a three-day conference. They were travelling on a KSRTC non-AC sleeper bus bound for Mangaluru. Mr. Kulkarni was on single sleeper berth No 9.
Around 2.30 a.m., the bus reached Kumta bus stand, Mr. Kulkarni kept his purse and mobile phone in his hand bag placed on the berth, and got off the bus to relieve himself. Conductor-cum-driver Eshwar Gowda too got off to complete some paperwork.
Just as the duo returned around 10 minutes later, a passenger got off the bus. When the bus crossed the toll gate before Honnavar, Mr. Kulkarni noticed that around ₹9,000 kept his purse and his mobile phone were missing.
Mr. Gowda took the bus to Honnavar police station where head constable Shripad Naik took note of the incident and passed on the message to night patrolling teams of Kumta police station.
Seeing the KSRTC bus outside the police station, the driver of a Mangaluru-bound Volvo bus from Mumbai called Mr. Gowda to inform about police apprehending a thief who had made an attempt to steal the bag of a passenger from his parked bus at Kumta bus stand.
Later, Honnavar police got a call from the Kumta police patrolling team led by Ravi Giddi who asked Mr. Kulkarni to return to Kumta police station and collect his mobile phone, which had been recovered from the thief.
Mr. Kulkarni, along with fellow CITU activists and other passengers, and KSRTC driver Mr. Gowda, went to Kumta police station where Mr. Giddi and his team handed over the mobile phone after collecting details about the theft.
“It’s a great relief to get back the mobile phone,” said Mr. Kulkarni, while appreciating the swiftness of KSRTC staff and the Uttar Kannada police.
Kumta police are searching for the others involved in the theft.
On November 12, KSRTC Club Class conductor Ashok Jadhav coordinated with Bengaluru police to apprehend two persons allegedly involved in theft of several articles on the Bengaluru-Mangaluru route.