A bus driver working with the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation, who physically assaulted a migrant labourer with a stick at a bus stand in Angamaly town for not wearing a mask, was suspended on Saturday. The driver was identified as V Anto, and the action against him was taken after a report filed by the concerned Vigilance Squad Inspector, the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation said in a release.
"We received a complaint that a guest worker was beaten up on April 22. A video was also found in which the driver was seen beating up the man," the release said.
The visuals of the assault had been doing the rounds on social media. In the video, that seems to have been recorded by a passer-by, an old man wearing a shirt and white mundu was seen sitting on a floor close to a pillar, and the driver, in his blue uniform, was seen hitting him using a stick. Later, the old man was seen lying down on the floor, with blood on his hands and legs.
After the video started circulating, the Vigilance wing of the transport corporation launched a probe. The driver was suspended for a wrongful act.
The Kerala RTC has said, â€œThe guest worker reached the bus stand without wearing a mask, but the driver could have intimated the police or authorities concerned, instead of beating him."
Warning: Visuals of the attack can be disturbing.
Incidents of migrant workers being assaulted are not new in the state. In 2020, February a migrant worker was assaulted by an auto-rickshaw driver at Mukkola near Vizhinjam. Goutam Mondal, a 25-year-old migrant labourer from West Bengal was assaulted and was verbally assaulted by an auto driver. It was in 2018 that 50-year-old Manik Roy from West Bengal died after being beaten up by two men. Roy was accused of stealing a hen by Sasi, who was later arrested for beating him up.