Mayor-driver row: Memory card from KSRTC bus went missing just before police probe

MLA Sachin Dev and Thiruvananthapuram Mayor Arya Rajendran; Screen grab of mayor arguing with driver. Photos: Manorama News

Thiruvananthapuram: The memory card storing visuals from the CCTV cameras installed in a KSRTC bus, which the Thiruvananthapuram City Corporation mayor had intercepted, went missing just before the police arrived to retrieve the device.
This was revealed in a complaint the general controlling inspector of the KSRTC's Central Depot at Thampanoor had lodged with the police.

Mayor Arya Rajendran, her MLA husband Sachin Dev, and family members allegedly intercepted the bus at a traffic signal at Palayam, and engaged in a verbal spat with the KSRTC driver, HL Yadhu, in a suspected case of road rage around 10.30 pm on April 27.

The mayor and others alleged that Yadhu had flashed an obscene gesture at them. Arya Rajendran and family were in a private car when the incident occurred. Visuals stored in the memory card could shed light on the spat and incidents that had led to it.

KSRTC driver Yadhu had been demanding investigators to examine the CCTV visuals. He had also mentioned the possibility of someone destroying the visuals. However, the police decided to check the visuals only on April 30.
Though the Cantonment Police requested the KSRTC depot authorities to arrange for an inspection of the CCTV visuals, the bus had by then departed Thiruvananthapuram on a trip to Thrissur.

The KSRTC's technical division at the chief office permitted police to check the visuals on May 1. On inspection, the police found the memory card missing.
According to the general controlling inspector's complaint, the storage device went missing between 1 am and 10 am on May 1. Earlier, Yadhu said that the CCTV camera was properly functioning, and he saw the recording icon on the screen on April 27.

KSRTC MD told to investigate missing memory card: Minister
Meanwhile, Yadhu submitted a complaint to Transport Minister KB Ganeshkumar. He requested the minister not to keep him away from duty.
In a separate but related development, Ganeshkumar said a probe would be launched into the missing memory card. Four buses attached to the Thampanoor depot have been equipped with CCTV cameras, and only the memory card of the bus involved in the April 27 incident had gone missing. The minister said he had instructed the KSRTC's managing director to probe the case of the missing memory card.

SHRC orders probe on Yadhu's complaint
The State Human Rights Commission's Acting Chairperson and Judicial Member K Baijunath has ordered a probe into the alleged reluctance of Cantonment Police Station House Officer (SHO) to register a case based on Yadhu's complaint.

The driver complained to the rights panel that the SHO did not register his complaint against those who had insulted him and prevented him from executing his duty. He requested legal action against the officer.

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