KOLKATA: The mother of a Class-III student was allegedly threatened by a private school bus owner and his henchmen with and molestation after she lodged a complaint with the two RTOs about the accused running a condemned bus reportedly with fake number plates to ferry students to a reputable English-medium school at Liluah in . The son used to travel to school in this alleged rickety vehicle.
The Sinthi resident, who teaches dance in the Mamata Shankar ballet group, claimed she had initially complained to the school and asked the bus service owner, , to replace the bus. The school told the bus owner to replace the vehicle. But the owner allegedly repainted the condemned bus and continued ferrying schoolkids using a new fake number plate. When she went to RTOs, the bus owner allegedly threatened to hurl acid at her and molest her.
Refusing to buckle under pressure, the woman on Tuesday approached chief minister through her office and lodged a complaint. “It is a question of safety of around 30 students. Our complaint letter was received by a senior police officer at the CM’s office and he spoke directly to the IC of the police station. He accepted a larger racket could be involved and promised action. He asked us to approach the officers at the Baranagar police station. We did as instructed. We have faith in the administration,” she said.
Trouble started in 2015 when the woman’s son began going to school by one of the buses provided by Sarkar’s Sarkar Pool Car and Catering Services. The woman claimed the bus was not only old and rickety, but was also condemned. It had no GPS services as claimed even though the owner took Rs 5,000 as advance at the start of the session, she claimed, adding they had asked Sarkar to change the vehicle, but to no avail.
However, she said that despite all the requests, the bus was not changed and they stopped sending the boy to school by the bus. But realizing the safety of other children were still at stake, the woman and her husband wrote to the Barackpore RTO on June 27. The woman claimed on recommendation of the RTO the school stepped in and asked the owner to replace the bus.
“Fifteen days later, the owner apparently replaced the bus but what he actually did was merely repaint it and put up another registration number,” claimed the woman. Based on the new number plate, the couple lodged a second complaint last month, this time with the Burdwan RTO. “Within days, the bus owner and his associates began stalking me on roads and threatening me. They used objectionable language to mock me and my profession,” the woman alleged.
Cops at Baranagar police station said an FIR on the threat was registered on Tuesday. “Both sides had lodged complaints against each other in March and April. They were earlier family friends. Possibility of personal enmity playing a role cannot be ruled out,” said a senior officer at the Baranagar police station.
The bus service owner Sarkar refuted all claims: “Why is she trying to tarnish my image and the reputation of my services? She tried it even earlier. Around 200 children use my vehicles to go to school. None has ever complained. I have been in this business for long and have earned a reputation.”
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