Alarming increase in brutality against Indian bus drivers in Kuwait
KUWAIT: Bus commuters urge police authorities to look into the concern of the alarming increase in the number of reported and unreported cases of bus drivers being beaten and left bruised if not bloodied from blows and attacks inflicted by high school Arab students who board their buses and terrorize passengers verbally and physically.
Passengers express dismay over police authorities’ apathy in solving the issues despite repetitive calls to resolve and protect passengers and drivers.
In series of news published in local dailies described four Arab teenagers attacked an Indian bus driver when he asked for their fares. He claimed that the passengers watched in horror as they dragged him out of the bus, where he was beaten repeatedly, the teenagers escaped immediately after the assault. The driver was brought to the Adan Hospital for treatment. Until this day his attackers have not been identified. In a similar situation, local news daily published that an Asian bus driver was attacked by young students when he refused to let them board the bus. Police authorities arrived in the scene and paramedics reported that the driver suffered multiple bruises and head trauma. The driver claimed that he refused to let the students board his vehicle as they vandalize, scare and insult passengers and in a few cases, physically attack. Till today his assailants have not been identified.
In an interview with the bus driver Ramesh, he said that most bus drivers have complained about the harsh and offending actions young Arab passengers have displayed while inside the buses thus, many have refused to let them in their buses. “I was hit on the head by a stone and four windows of the bus broke due to stones being thrown by teenage students because we refuse to let them board. There has to be a system in such a way that drivers will have a link to the nearest police station should such incident arise. Many suggested that a glass box should be built around the driver for protection, but what about the safety of the passengers who often are preys to these thugs?” questioned Ramesh.
Bus drivers complain about loud voices such as singing, dancing and smoking inside the buses and in many occasions seat covers were torn and bus interiors were vandalized.”I was attacked once by these students as I stopped the bus and requested them to refrain from smoking and not to disturb the women. In seconds as I turned my back, I was repeatedly hit on the back and as I drove away, two of my windows were smashed. I try to avoid them in many occasions and have recommended our bus company be given authority not to allow students inside our buses,” complained bus driver Vijay.
Most of these incidences are some of the minor actions done by students inside the buses and drivers appeal to proper authorities to find appropriate solutions to discipline unmannered students or commuters. Similarly, passengers complain that all these incidences have been going on and yet no one bothered to raise the issues. Bus companies should assist in working out solutions to protect their own drivers and maintain comfort and safety among their passengers.
“I don’t know how they can go to school and come out of it at the end of the day with these attitudes. In several instances, drivers find themselves helpless. I have witnessed some of them being hit on the face and disturbed while driving. Some even demanded drivers to stop on the road regardless of bus stops and if he refused to comply they stepped on the break,” added bus driver Subramaniam.
To add, Subramaniam added that several drivers admit that they are helpless as they watch these students harass commuters inside their buses. “They step in the bus and start to act wildly and uncontrollably and cause uneasiness, which often force passengers to get off the vehicle,” added the bus driver. Subramaniam complained that most of these students for some reasons do not respect anyone regardless of age or gender. He has witnessed rude actions such as pouring soft drinks and tipping-off cigarette ashes over passenger’s head as well as sitting with women in front and disturbs them. Subramaniam added that these unruly acts often occur after school hours and at times during busy hours in the evening.
“We are aware of the problems and have witnessed the seriousness of the issues raised by our drivers, we are in fact considering banning students from our buses after school hours and will consult with public transport authorities to find appropriate solutions to these problems,” stated a representative from private bus company who requests anonymity.
“The issue is not whether these students should be allowed to use the bus or not, but proper authorities and bus companies should come to terms and work together to educate students the importance of these public transportations on their daily routines,” added source from public transportation company.
Al Watan Daily interviewed a few students who shared disgust over the attitudes of some bullies that generally affect reputations of students who simply want to get home. “I have witnessed such brutality in the bus and took pity on the driver and some passengers who were helpless from insults and vulgar acts being performed against them. These young brats simply want to show off and brag and unfortunately Asian passengers are easy preys. I have seen these boys kick the door repeatedly and hit drivers with their books or bags as they get off, then they run off and escape from the place, leaving local authorities with no head or tail as to who caused such commotion. I don’t blame drivers as to why they refuse to let high school and young passengers in their buses, who would anyway, if what they bring is problems to passengers and drivers?” commented high school student Sharif.
By : Ricky Laxa