In a bizarre incident in Kasargod, Kerala, a section of KSRTC employees chipped in to conduct an exorcism to ward off the increasing number of bus accidents that were taking place in the vicinity.
The incident that took place last month at the state transport bus stand in Kasargod was reported exclusively by Asianet News.
The puja was conducted following astrological advice that evil spirits were the cause for the recent spate of bus accidents in and around the vicinity, as the land on which the bus depot stood was allegedly haunted. And since the ritual could be deemed a success only in the presence of the present land-owner, G Mohanan, the District Transport Officer was present all throughout the exorcism rites, which began at around 23:00 hrs and went on till the wee hours of the next day, according to Shri Mohan Padi, a KSRTC employee and CITU member of the Kasargod bus stand.
Rubbishing KSRTC MD Shri Antony Chackoâ€™s claims that the said rituals were part of the Ayudha Puja which is a prelude to the Ganapathi Homam -an annual affair- Shri Padi said that the very presence of an astrologer â€“who is supposedly not needed to conduct an Ayudha Puja- proves this wrong.
BJP leader K Surendran was quick to pounce on the superstitious double standards of the CITU and CPI(M) members who allegedly financed the ghost-exorcism, an accusation vehemently denied by the latter.
Former Transport Minister and Janata Dal(S) leader Shri Mathew P Thomas expressed dismay at such superstitious beliefs being uppermost in peopleâ€™s perception of the actual causes for increase in the number of bus accidents.
Shri K Balakrishnan Pillai, another former Transport Minister derided the authorities-in-charge, who he claimed were the ones actually possessed and hoped that the district transport officer himself was exorcised of all evil spirits. â€śInstead of upgrading the safety features of the present fleet of buses and providing comprehensive training to the bus-drivers, all they do is burden KSRTC with piling debts and absurd practices.â€ť