In an act that's nothing short of inspiring, a woman conductor's prompt action helped bust a theft on a KSRTC bus in Alappuzha. P R Suja, a conductor on a public bus that starts from Alappuzha south ran after two passengers who suspiciously alighted the bus right after boarding.
"We started from the Kallupaalam stop and two women boarded at the stop near the General Hospital. They suddenly asked to alight immediately. I gave them tickets for the stop and they alighted. Their actions seemed slightly suspicious so I casually enquired whether everybody had their belongings with them. This is when a 68-year-old lady, Ayyanaparambil Saraswathy, said that she lost her gold chain," Suja told TNM.
Following this, Suja asked co-passengers if anybody was willing to help the lady. However, she claimed that none of them volunteered.
"So I quickly jumped out of the bus and ran towards the two ladies. The lane had several deviations and had they taken a turn, I would have lost them. I stalled one lady and told her that they couldn't leave as a theft was reported on the bus. While I was running towards them, I even asked passersby to prevent them from running. However, everybody was understandably a bit hesitant as they were women," she said.
While Suja managed to stall one of the women, the other had crossed the road and hailed an auto.
"By then, a woman police officer who was on her way to work noticed the chaos and came to inquire. Following this, we found the missing gold chain — weighing 3.5 sovereigns — was with the lady who I had stalled,"
Once the incident was brought to the notice of the authorities, the bus moved and Suja resumed her duties.
"The women were taken to the station and I asked the lady whose chain it was to go to the station and complete all the formalities to reclaim her chain. After this, the bus continued its journey," she recalled.
On why the passengers never bothered to intervene during the situation Suja said that only one man spoke up during the entire incident, and even they should carry on and not bother.
"Most of these passengers alight from the bus to catch a boat to cross over to the town. So they would rather not get involved as they don't want to miss the boat. I was just doing my job as usual. But now I feel really happy that I helped an old lady get her belongings back," said Suja.