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Commuters assault bus driver, other drivers go on protest

Staff Reporter

Drivers not to operate buses up to Kannagi Nagar for the moment

— Photo: M. Karunakaran

THE MOST AFFECTED: In the absence of MTC services on Wednesday, Kannagi Nagar residents had to depend on share autorickshaws, paying more than the usual rates.

CHENNAI: Tension prevailed on Rajiv Gandhi Salai for three hours on Tuesday night after a group of commuters allegedly assaulted an MTC bus driver at Kannagi Nagar, Thoraipakkam, around 9.45 p.m.

The attack took place after the driver warned some youngsters against footboard travelling. The incident sparked a protest by a group of MTC bus drivers disrupting bus services on the stretch.

Thoraipakkam police said Seenan (37), driver of bus route number T 21 (Parrys to Kannagi Nagar), was attacked inside the bus by more than 10 commuters near Sivan Koil in Kannagi Nagar.

“The group protested the driver's warning and a heated argument ensued. They assaulted the driver and one of them attacked him with a broken bottle below his eye. The men fled after other passengers intervened,” said an investigating officer.

An injured Seenan was taken to a hospital nearby. He later lodged a complaint with the Thoraipakkam police.

As news of the attack spread, MTC bus drivers in the area resorted to a protest till midnight demanding the arrest of the assailants.

The situation returned to normality around 1 a.m. on Wednesday, police sources added.

Alleging that commuters from the Kannagi Nagar area are often unruly and footboard travel is common, K. Natarajan, general secretary of the Labour Progressive Front (LPF) said, “Buses on Rajiv Gandhi Salai will ply only up to the Thoraipakkam Main Road. We have decided not to operate on the 2-km interior stretch up to Kannagi Nagar for the moment.”

Three arrested

Three youth from Kannagi Nagar were arrested on Wednesday evening in connection with the attack. Thoraipakkam police sources identified them as R. Suresh (22), M. Udaya alias Udayasuriyan (25) and Arun Anand (20). They were remanded to custody and sent to Puzhal prison.

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