Passengers of a Kerala-bound private bus from Bengaluru were in for a shock on Friday night when four men on two bikes waylaid them, claiming to be policemen, and demanded they search the bus. The incident occurred on Mysore Road, close to RV College.
The bus operated by Lama Travels with KA01AG636 registration number, had started from Kalasipalyam at around 9:45 pm with 42 passengers on board.
The men on the bike posing as policemen told the bus driver that they wanted to inspect the contents of the bus and directed the bus to a nearby godown.
"They pretended to be police officials and stopped the bus. The driver got down, and then they took over the bus and brought it to a godown and locked it. When we asked if could be let off, they said they wouldn’t let anyone leave. They allowed their men in, but didn't let any of us leave … Even when we said we will complain to the police, they said do whatever you want," a passenger told TV reporters.
Some passengers did indeed call the police, who rushed to the spot.
"After we called the police, they ran away. It was just two people who stopped the bus on the road, but there were 6-7 people working with them in the godown," added the passenger.
A case has been registered at the Rajarajeshwari Nagar Police Station and four people have been arrested under section 341 (wrongful restraint) of the Indian Penal Code. Another three suspects are on the run.
Speaking to TNM, a police official said, “There was some problem with the financing. The company wanted to get back the loan amount, so it diverted the bus to a godown. At that time, there were around 40 passengers in the bus.”
“We do not have all the information as of now. Preliminary investigation says that Shriram Finance Company was behind this,” he added.
Lama Travels operates buses between Bengaluru and Kerala.
In December last year, it was in the news when three persons, including a woman, were killed in Kerala’s Kannur after one of their buses fell into the Mayyazhi River.