An evening out with her 3-year-old granddaughter turned into a nightmare for 41-year-old Lakshmi Renukesh, a resident of Kirloskar Layout, Bengaluru, last week. Instead of having an enjoyable bus ride, Renukesh had the worst experience of her life — ending up getting assaulted by the conductor when she asked for change for the ticket money.
Renukesh had taken a BMTC bus near Sapthagiri College. While her granddaughter was her companion, she took a ticket to Majestic. Lack of change made her to give the conductor a 100 bucks while the ticket cost only Rs 21. The conductor, later identified as Uday Kumar, as usual, wrote return Rs 75 behind the ticket. When Renukesh saw this, she told the conductor that he has to return her Rs 79. The conductor gave a nod and promised to return her the right change.
Narrating her experience to Bangalore Mirror, Lakshmi said, “Near Majestic, he gave me back only Rs 74, claiming the remaining Rs 5 was deducted for my granddaughter. I objected as a three-year-old doesn’t need a ticket. An argument ensued but he refused to pay me the money. When the bus reached platform number 20, I refused to get down till I was paid.”
Lakshmi added, “He became violent and started abusing me. Then he slapped me twice with such force that it cut my ear lobe and the earring broke. There were so many passengers, including women, in the bus. But nobody came to help me even though I kept asking them. My ear was bleeding, but I refused to get down from the bus in protest.”
Shocked by the inhuman behaviour, Renukesh then called the police and informed her family.
When the police arrived at the spot, the conductor started apologizing. He was arrested.
“He was inhuman. He even made an elderly woman get out of the bus at the Malleswaram traffic signal and she struggled to cross the road. He kept confusing other passengers by asking them how much they paid for the ticket,” she said.
When a police officer was asked about the arrest, he said, “The conductor, Uday Kumar, was arrested in the early hours of Sunday. He works for BMTC’s 8th depot in Yeshwanthpur.”
For the injury she incurred, Renukesh had to be admitted to KC General Hospital.
This tragic incident reminds me of a rather similar case that happened with me once. One day, I took a BMTC bus to reach Baiyappanahalli metro station.
Like Renukesh, I didn’t have change and gave the conductor Rs 50 for a Rs 12 ticket. I didn’t ask for the change till I reached my destination (something that I normally do ). Later, when I approached him for the change, he started abusing me saying, “speak in Kannada first, then you can have the change”.
I took a minute to understand what was happening as such a thing had never happened to me before in my 5 years of stay in Bangalore. When again I tried to collect the money from him, he shouted the same in a bus full of people.
I wasn’t in a mood to argue. I knew some of the fellow daily passengers, so asked them to give me change. They helped me and I threw those 12 bucks in the conductor’s face. When I got down from the bus, I noted the bus number and conductor’s name. Later, I complained in the official webssite and guess what? No action from their side.
Such incidents reveal why the IT city is getting a bad name!
Feature Image Credit: Loksatta
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