Tvm Mayor Arya files plaint against KSRTC driver, he says she’s targeting ‘common man’

Upon the Mayor’s complaint, a case was filed against the driver Yadhu under Section 354 A (sexual harassment) of the Indian Penal Code.
Arya Rajendran
Arya Rajendran
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A road incident in the city of Thiruvananthapuram has triggered a controversy of sorts, after it came out that those involved included the Mayor of the city, Arya Rajendran, her husband and legislator Sachin Dev, and a driver of the state-run Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC). The altercation, which took place on the night of Saturday, April 27, occurred after the KSRTC bus and the private vehicle used by the Mayor nearly brushed past each other, and the driver allegedly made vulgar gestures at the women in the car. Upon the Mayor’s complaint, a case was filed against driver Yadhu on April 28, under Section 354 A (sexual harassment) of the Indian Penal Code. 

Addressing the media on April 29, Mayor Arya said the incident was one of sexual harassment and not an issue of overspeeding as certain reports suggested. “I request you all to not reduce it to an incident of road rage,” she said. There were five people in the car that she and Sachin travelled in – a Wagon R – including the Mayor’s brother, his wife, and another relative. Arya said that when the car turned to PMG from Plamood, the KSRTC bus had arrived rashly from one side and nearly brushed past them. When Arya and her sister-in-law turned to look at the bus, the driver allegedly showed a vulgar gesture with sexual connotations, she said in her complaint.

After this, the car followed the bus and both the vehicles stopped at a traffic light in Palayam. Visuals of the Wagon R stopping in front of the bus have since come out. While Arya said that this was done during the time the signal was red, Yadhu said it had turned green by the time they approached him. “We wanted to ask him why he made that gesture, but he was shouting from the moment we approached him, and would not answer that question. He consumed some intoxicant in front of us and threw the packet away. After this I called the Transport Minister (Ganesh Kumar) and he promised to send a vigilance team of the KSRTC. I also spoke to the police upon whose arrival the driver began to speak politely,” the Mayor said.

She also named two other FIRs which have been filed against Yadhu previously, both times for road mishaps. 

After the police arrived and took Yadhu away for questioning, the passengers in the bus alighted. Yadhu, who came out on bail soon after, alleged that the Mayor and the MLA were using their power against a common man like him. He did not recognise the Mayor or the MLA until they told him who they were, he said. Yadhu also alleged that the men from the car used curse words against him. 

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