Bus driver attacks student passenger in Valaichenai
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 06 January 2004, 00:01 GMT]
A student traveling from the Naseevantheevu village, a suburb of Valaichenai, to the Valaichenai Hindu college was severely attacked by the driver of the bus Monday, sources said.
Valaichenai lies 32 km to the north of Batticaloa town. To reach Valaichenai from Naseevantheevu, a distance of about 5 miles, the residents of the predominantly Tamil village have to travel by bus through Ottamavady, a Muslim village.
The New Eastern Bus Company is conducting bus services in the morning and afternoon on the route (and to the Hindu College). The students of the college allege that the conductor of the bus had failed to provide the tickets to student passengers after receiving cash for the tickets, and when sudden inspectors stopped the bus in Valaichenai and asked for tickets, they found some students traveling without tickets.
When the students complained to the inspectors about the conductor’s failure to provide them the tickets after taking cash from them, the driver became agitated and attacked the students, sources said.
Though the inspectors intervened and pacified the students, saying they would take action against the driver and the conductor, no action has been taken so far, the students say, and the Principal of the Hindu College has asked the Manager of the bus company to take appropriate action.
Parents of the students say that the bus driver and conductor were both from the Kavathamunai Muslim community and have appealed to the bus company to hire Tamil drivers when the bus takes students to the school.