Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Crime-Justice

Karnataka: Assault on Assamese student sparks outrage

IANS | April 01, 2024 04:08 PM

BENGALURU: Bengaluru Bus Travellers Association on Monday extended support to the Assamese student allegedly assaulted by the staff of the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) and criticised the checking inspector and other staff for their alleged actions.

“The student had boarded the bus along with the checking inspector of BMTC. How is it possible for him to obtain the ticket immediately after boarding? If the student had not bought the ticket, they could have collected the fine from him, ” Vinay Srinivas, a member of the Bus Travellers’ Association, told media persons.

He said that the assault on him is condemnable.

“We have been making efforts to promote travel in public transport, especially buses. The alleged assault on the student, who is from a different state and does not know the Kannada language, is not acceptable, ” he said.

The incident took place on March 25. The victim, Kamrul Hoque from Assam, a student of Azim Premji University in Bengaluru lodged a complaint with Bengaluru Police Commissioner B. Dayanad on March 26.

Kamrul Hoque said that the BMTC staff harassed and took away Rs 450 from him.

“I was travelling from Bellandur Gate to Sarjapur Circle at 6 p.m. They physically assaulted me. I am from Assam, and they took advantage of me not knowing the Kannada language, ” he said

Kamrul Hoque posted a video lasting 3.25 minutes, in which he is seen arguing with the checking staff and pleading with them to check the CCTV camera of the bus, which clearly shows he boarded the bus along with them. A fellow passenger is also seen supporting him.

“Little did I know that my simple journey would transform into a harrowing ordeal, leaving me feeling utterly helpless and vulnerable in the metropolitan city of Bengaluru. As they learned I am from Assam and didn’t speak Kannada, the ticket checkers seemed to view me as an easy target, further emboldening their mistreatment and assault, ” Kamrul Hoque said.

"After boarding the bus and settling into an empty seat, ticket checkers from the BMTC entered at the same stop from where I boarded the bus. Their arrival was abrupt, and within a matter of seconds, they demanded to see my ticket. I tried to explain that I had just boarded the bus and hadn’t had the chance to purchase a ticket from the conductor yet. But my pleas fell on deaf ears, " he explained.

"Instead of showing any understanding or compassion, the checkers began accusing me of evasion. Their tone quickly turned hostile. Although other passengers intervened, corroborating my account of events, their voices were ignored, " he said.

“Their aggression turned physical as they grabbed me by the collar. Feeling utterly defeated and betrayed by the very authorities meant to protect citizens, I couldn’t help but question the safety and inclusivity of a city like Bengaluru for outsiders like myself, ” he said.

Following the backlash, the BMTC has said that they will inquire, and necessary action will be taken in the incident.

Have something to say? Post your comment