In an act of extreme cruelty, a speech-impaired woman has been pushed off a moving bus in Keraniganj on the outskirts of the capital for her inability to pay the fare.
A video clip of the incident that took place on Monday has gone viral on social networking site Facebook, triggering an angry outcry.This has also forced law enforcers to launch a manhunt and arrest the bus driver and his helper.
It was seen in the video footage that the woman wearing a burqa getting pushed off an ‘N Mallick Paribahan’ bus at Ruhitpur Bazar of Keraniganj.
She was seen groaning in pain lying on the ground. Later, locals rescued the injured woman and gave her first aid.
Meanwhile, members of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) on Tuesday arrested the bus driver and his helper over the incident.
The arrestees were identified as driver Md Sabuj, 25, and his assistant Md Nahid, 19.
Lt Col Ashique Billah, RAB director (Legal and Media wing), said the woman with speech impairment informed the bus helper in writing that she had no enough money to pay the fare. Even then, helper Nahid threw her off the bus at the driver’s order.The incident came to the notice of RAB’s cyber unit after the video clip went viral, he said, adding that a team of RAB intelligence unit and RAB-10 conducted an operation to arrest the driver and his helper.
The team arrested them from Kuchimara of Dhaleswar under Keraniganj Model Police Station around 1:22am.
Two handsets, Tk 800 in cash and a driving licence (light vehicle) were recovered from them. The bus was also seized at that time.
The RAB official said during preliminary interrogation, the arrestees said the woman, hailing from Kamrangirchar of the capital, boarded the bus from Konakhola area of Keraniganj for going to Nawabganj of Dhaka.
When she was asked to pay the fare, she told the helper in writing that she had no enough money.
Angered at this, the helper started shouting and hurling abuses at the woman. However, other passengers of the bus stopped the helper. But at one point, he threw the woman off the moving bus at the driver’s order.
Victim’s mother Samarta Banu filed an attempted murder case with Keraniganj Model Police Station on Tuesday afternoon.
“We came to know during our investigation that the woman was a regular passenger of ‘N Mallick Paribahan’. A transport official waived her fare as she was speech-impaired.”
Asked whether the driver and his helper had fled soon after the incident, he said they had been normal and went into hiding only after the video footage went viral.
Locals made allegations of such torture against the transport company.
The RAB official said they will seek the revocation of the driving licence of Sabuj while a letter will also be sent to Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) to verify whether the bus has the route permit.
He said though Sabuj’s driving licence was for a light vehicle, he had been driving a heavy vehicle like bus.