Thiruvananthapuram: Four employees of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation have been suspended over the incident where a man was rounded up and assaulted for demanding a student's concession card for his daughter.
"Four employees, including the station master of the Kattakkada KSRTC depot, have been suspended with immediate effect," said Transport Minister Antony Raju.
The High Court too registered a suo motu case on the shocking incident.
Not just the 55-year-old father, but his college-going daughter was also pushed and assaulted by the staffers of the public transport carrier after a brief war of words erupted between them at the bus depot in the morning.
The incident caught wide public and media attention after a purported visual captured on a mobile phone went viral. In the video, the employees could be seen pushing the man into a room and assaulting him and beating the girl who tried to stop them.
The daughter could also be seen questioning the assault by the employees and another man could be heard telling the staffers to not beat them up. The girl's father, Preman, later sought treatment at a taluk hospital.
A native of Amachal near Thiruvananthapuram, he said a minor argument with the KSRTC employees at the depot resulted in the assault. "I went to the depot with my daughter to renew her students' concession. The staff at the counter asked us to bring the course certificate. I told them that it was already submitted during the renewal of the bus pass last month," the man said. But, the employees were not ready to renew the concession and the argument resulted in the assault.
As the issue triggered a controversy, Antony Raju intervened and sought an urgent report from the chairman and the managing director of the KSRTC on the incident. “Though it was an isolated incident, the manhandling of a person who arrived at the office, which brought disgrace to the KSRTC, could not be accepted at any cost,” said Antony Raju.
Later in the evening, an order was issued suspending four employees pending inquiry based on the preliminary enquiry report. "Directions have been given to the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) to complete the probe within 45 days and to take stringent action against the accused," the minister's office said.
Meanwhile, advocate Deepu Thankan, who represents KSRTC in the Kerala High Court, said Justice Devan Ramachandran called for a report on the incident. He also said the High Court has registered a case on its own into the incident based on media reports.
Kattakkada police said five KSRTC employees have been booked in connection with the incident and various sections of IPC including 143, 149, 323 and so on have been slapped against them.
(With PTI inputs)