Even as a Delhi court on Monday remanded a youth and his mother to 14 days judicial custody for allegedly beating a 42-year-old DTC bus driver to death, DTC employees went on strike leaving many commuters stranded.
While Vijay (22) was arrested late on Sunday, his mother — who is accused of instigating him in the crime — was arrested on Monday morning. Metropolitan Magistrate Sushant Changotra sent the two to judicial custody till May 25 after they were produced in court.
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However, police did not seek custodial interrogation of the two accused. The court also issued notice to the concerned authorities of a government school in Nangloi to submit Vijay’s date of birth records for ascertaining his age.
Meanwhile, if employees and unions are to be believed, 4,500 out of 4,709 DTC buses participated in the strike. Clusters buses too went off the roads by night. Sources said the decision on whether the strike will continue on Tuesday is yet to be taken.
The Delhi Metro took around 20 extra trips and extra ticket counters were opened at Badarpur and Tuglakabad stations of Line 6. Monday’s average ridership at 8pm is around 21 lakh but on this day at 8pm, it was 22.92 lakh — an increase of about 2 lakh people.
The government also announced that it would bear the treatment costs of Ashok Kumar’s ailing wife. Earlier on Sunday, Transport Minister Gopal Rai had announced an immediate compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the family and a permanent job in the Transport department for one member.
The department has also been directed to draw up an emergency plan for deploying home guards in DTC buses. Sources said the plan will be drawn up in consultation with the Home department and will be announced soon. The department has also decided to install CCTV cameras in buses. Rai said this would take a year.
However, the government is not going easy on those who have called the strike. “Despite promptly visiting the Rohini Depot on Sunday and assuring the employees that any demand put forward by them will be duly considered, the public has been inconvenienced by the politically-motivated strike. The government will deal sternly with the strike, which is completely illegal. Employees are advised to return to work immediately, failing which they will have to face serious repercussions,” Rai said.
BJP, Congress demand Rs 1 crore for driver’s kin
Responding to the allegation that it had fuelled the DTC strike, the BJP hit back at the AAP government. “It is the government’s arrogance which has resulted in DTC employees going on strike. The government should not play dual games in matters of compensation. If they could give Rs 1 crore to Delhi police personnel, why could it not give a similar amount to the driver’s family? We demand that Rs 1 crore be given to the family along with employment to a family member,” unit chief Satish Upadhyay said.
The BJP also gave Rs 5 lakh to the driver’s family on Monday. Meanwhile, the Delhi Congress also demanded that the government pay Rs 1 crore compensation and give a permanent job to Kumar’s next of kin.