Bengaluru: Hundreds of people gathered in support of a BMTC driver and conductor, who were threatened at gunpoint by three men in an SUV over a trivial incident in Thippasandra on Friday evening. But a few hours later, when the police took the two BMTC staffers to the spot for the mahajar, not a soul came forward as witness to the incident.
The BMTC driver, Akmal Pasha (33), fearing for his life has taken leave and had gone to his hometown Mulbagal. “I am a common man, and I fear for my life. I heard that the men who threatened me at gunpoint are influential people,” he said. “The BMTC has assigned me to drive the bus in the same route and I am sure that I will face trouble one day. I had nothing against them. I only told them to watch out for other vehicles when they are reversing their SUV,” he said.
The Jeevan Bimanagar Nagar police have registered a case under various sections, including those under the Arms Act. They have arrested the SUV driver, Kumar, and the bodyguard, Santosh, who had the gun, while the third accused, Yellappa alias Amruth Reddy, is on the run. Santosh is an ex-service man from Uttar Pradesh, and the police have seized his gun. All the three have been booked for obstructing a public servant while discharging his duties, voluntarily causing hurt and criminal intimidation.
Yellappa is the brother of a builder in the area, Nishanth Reddy, who is the owner of the SUV that was seized by the police on Friday. Akmal told Deccan Chronicle that he has to take care of his aged, ailing father and has to marry off his three sisters. As a serious criminal case has been filed in the case, he is not sure about his safety in the city if he returns. The bus conductor, Khanaulla, was unavailable for comment. “Khanaulla also lives in fear,” Akmal said.
“I doubt whether even my employer, the BMTC, will come to my help in this case. It has been three days since the incident occurred, and I have not heard anything from the management,” he said. Director, Security and Vigilance BMTC, Dr B.A. Mahesh, IPS said, “The driver has already lodged a police complaint and there cannot be two complaints lodged in the same case. We have already spoken to the people concerned.”...