Bangalore, July 30: A bus ride turned sour for a woman as she landed up in jail after slapping the conductor. A native of UP and working here in an MNC, Swati Nigam boarded a 500D near Ecospace to go to Marathalli.
After some time, she asked the conductor C Manjaiah to give her a ticket. The latter asked her to pay Rs 25 for the journey, to which she objected, as the distance was very less.
Understanding her point, Manjaiah explained to her that the fare was Rs 25 if she alighted after the bridge and Rs 15 if she got down before it. To this, Swati asked for a Rs 15 ticket but had no change. Neither did Manjaiah, who said he would collect the money from her after collecting it from other passengers and that she should arrange for the change.
On returning, he found that she could not manage the change. To this, the conductor asked her to pay Rs 10 and get down at the next stop. The altercation began here, when Swati refused to concede to his instructions as she was being forced to get down. The conductor said that she should not have boarded the bus if she didn't have change.
And to add oil to the fire, he broke into Kannada. Assuming that she was being abused, Swati slapped him across the right ear and then clawed him.
Realizing that things had gone beyond control, the driver (on the advice of the passengers), headed the bus straight to the HAL police station.After registering the statements of both the parties, a case of assault and obstructing a government servant was registered against Swati and was remanded to 15 days of judicial custody.
She was taken to the Parappana Agrahara central prison. Manjaiah was sent for a medical check up where reports confirmed that he had suffered injuries in the ear, leading to temporary loss of hearing, and also suffered bruises from scratching.
Swati's friend, however, had a different angle to the story. According to her, the bus conductor was to be equally blamed.
"When Swati agreed to get down because of lack of change, he should not have asked her to pay the minimum fare. If she had the change, she would have paid the RS 15 fare and travelled the entire journey. Moreover, what is the point in talking in Kannada when she does not understand the language? Some of the passengers also misbehaved with her. Even she was assaulted. After she gets out of jail, we would register a complaint against the driver and the bus conductor," she said.
Manjaiah argues that the allegations are completely false and have been framed. "If she had been assaulted in the bus, she should have mentioned that in front of the magistrate or in the police station," he said.