A motor vehicle department official’s prompt response after working hours has saved a youngster from Kerala from going behind bars in Lithuania.
Nithish Joy, 29, who is pursuing a hotel management course in Latvia, went for a road trip to Lithuania along with four friends. He had obtained an international driving licence from Thrissur in Kerala, but was carrying only a copy. After they entered the Lithuanian territory on June 10, local authorities detained them because Nithish, who was driving, did not have his original licence with him. The officials took up the matter with Wing Commander (retd) Rajinder Kumar Chaudhary, Honorary Consul of India to Lithuania.
Joint regional transport officer B Sreeprakash said, “When I got the call from the Consul, it was around 8 pm and our office had closed much before. Chaudhary got my number from the department website. He told me that I should send the original driving licence for confirmation within next three hours. Otherwise, he said, Nithish and his friends would be lodged in jail at least for 20 days as per their law.’’ Sreeprakash did not waste time.
He went to the Thrissur district collectorate complex, which houses the office of the joint RTO, but the grill outside the office was locked. Sreeprakash got a ladder from the fire services department and climbed over the iron structure to open the office.
“The Consul was reminding me repeatedly that time was running out and if I failed to send the document in time, the youths would be detained for several days. I was able to send the required details within three hours of his first call,” he said. Sreeprakash said he did not try to get permission to access the office at odd hours from higher-ups in the department.
“Nithish’s father Joy Antony said he had got a call from the Consul about the detention of his son. “We were totally at a loss and could not even grasp what he had told us. If the Consul and the joint RTO had not intervened, my son would have faced much trouble,’’ he said.