Team Blitz India
MALAPPURAM: In a rare incident, police personnel took the role of bus drivers to avert a crisis after the private bus employees declared a lightning strike on December 15. The police seized the buses with the permission of the owners and the police drivers took the passengers to their destinations.
The strike was declared following the arrest of a labourer under the POCSO Act for misbehaving with a schoolgirl on December 15. The irate bus workers extended the strike, which initially was confined only to the Parappangadi-Manjeri route. As buses to the major cities in the district like Malappuram, Kottakkal, and Manjeri were halted, many people were stranded at the Tirur bus depot.
Tirur Inspector of Police, M Jijo decided to seize the buses, considering the plight of the passengers. Jineesh, a policeman from Tirur Circle office, and Bhagyaraj another officer in the traffic station took the wheels for the police. Malappuram District Collector VR Vinod said that action would be taken against the erring bus employees.
“The bus employees have to inform us in advance before starting a strike. If they have been informed in advance, the district administration can take the necessary steps to avoid difficulties for the public,” the collector said.
Different bus owner associations have also disowned the protesters. Neither the bus owners nor the employee organisations declared any protest, and the strike was conducted following a WhatsApp message circulated in the groups.