Days After Bus Employees Thrashed Passengers, Weekly Special Train To Ply Between Kerala & Bengaluru
Just days after the recent attack on two passengers in a Bengaluru-bound private bus in Kerala, the South Western Railway on Saturday, April 27 decided to operate a special train between Krishnarajapuram in Bangalore and Kochuveli in Thiruvananthapuram.
New weekly special train
According to The Times Of India, the railways in a press release said that they have decided to run the train between the two southern states in order to cater to the extra rush. The special weekly train will leave Bengaluru on Monday and will reach Thiruvananthapuram the next day between April 28 and July 1. On Sundays, starting April 28, the weekly special train will leave from Kerala on Sundays and reach Bangalore on Mondays.
This came after passengers demanded more state-run buses and train services between the two cities following an attack on the passengers of the privately-owned Suresh Kallada travels bus. They have stated that dependence on privately owned buses is there because the number of trains is less. According to The News Minute, the Kerala Transport Secretary K R Jyothilal had met the Railway Board Member (traffic) Gireesh Pillai in New Delhi on April 25 with the demand of introducing more trains to Bengaluru from Kerala.
Presently, five daily trains are operating between Kerala and Bengaluru along with a couple of weekly and biweekly trains as well. However, these trains are nearly not enough to meet the high passenger demand. Reportedly, the highest demand on this route was on Fridays and Sundays.
What had happened?
On April 20, a Kallada Travels bus started from Haripad to Bengaluru. However, right after it started, the bus broke down around midnight. A fellow passenger of the bus narrated the ordeal on his Facebook post. “The passengers on the bus were stranded without any clear answers from the drivers on what we should expect for the safety of women, and girls on the bus. Several people got angry with the bus driver, asking for an alternative on how to get to their final destination which is a 14 hours bus ride,” he wrote. While the bus driver said that a mechanic would come to help, the passengers were worried since the street had no lights.
This is a distress call. Kindly send alarm to the #poIice across #kerala and #bangalore about the vehicle I am traveling…
Officers from the Haripad police station came to their rescue and soon after, another bus arrived on which the passengers boarded. They were then taken to the Vytilla office of Kallada Tours. Reportedly, four Kallada employees entered the bus and started assaulting two young men. In the video uploaded, the four men can be seen thrashing the two young men, Sachin and Ashkar, two B Tech students from Kerala. The scuffle broke out around 4:30 am on April 21. The two were then forced out of the bus.
Reportedly, the two men along with another passenger, who had questioned the efficiency of the travel company were chased for close to three hours and even attacked by close to a dozen of Kallada employees until they managed to flee to Coimbatore, reported The News Minute.
Kallada Travels in a Facebook post, while furnishing clarifications said that the two young men and the other passenger had attacked and abused the driver and attendee of the bus, while provisions for another bus was being arranged. The two victims were admitted to a private hospital in Coimbatore. Thrikkakara Assistant Commissioner Stuart Keeler recently arrested seven people in connection to the assault. Meanwhile, the owner of the travel company, Suresh Kallada is also being investigated.