Members of the Thrissur Road Transport Authority (RTA) have unanimously agreed to suspend the permit of the Kallada Travels bus after its employees allegedly beat up three passengers who were travelling from Kerala to Salem in April. The suspension has been invoked for a period of one year on the private bus. The action was taken based on the recommendation of RTA Ernakulam.
According to the RTA Thrissur, an inquiry into the incident, which took place on April 21, revealed that the three passengers had indeed been assaulted by the crew when the bus reached Vyttila in Ernakulam. Further inquiry by the police revealed that seven persons were involved in the assault against these passengers and all of them were the staff of M/S Kallada Travels, according to an RTA order.
On investigating further, the RTA also found that the bus was charging different rates for passengers depending on the distance. Over 14 cases, too, have been registered against the bus for exceeding the permitted speed limit.
The report of the RTA also cited another incident, where a woman passenger was molested by a reserve driver of the Travels. The woman, who was travelling from Kannur to Kollam, was molested by the driver, following which other passengers came to her aid and handed the driver over to the police.
The Women's Commission took note of the incident and summoned the owner of Kallada Travels, Suresh Kallada, for an inquiry. Chairperson of the Women's Commission MC Josephine also stated that the issue will be taken seriously and that Kallada Travels will have to explain the steps taken by them to ensure the safety of women provided by the operators.
Taking into consideration these incidents, the RTA Thrissur invoked the suspension of contract carriage of the Kallada bus, using the power vested on the body under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. On receipt of the decision, the permit holder of Kallada - KR Sureshkumar - has been asked to submit the permit at the Joint Regional Transport Officer building in Irinjalakuda, Thrissur, and report the place of garage of this bus.