Mumbai: BEST bus driver booked for beating up fellow staffer

Victim says driver was furious over suspension for misbehaving with passenger

A BEST office staffer was beaten up by a BEST driver in the wee hours of Friday in Parel. The police have registered a case against the driver, Vijay Kanade, who allegedly hit Sunil Mithbavkar (53), a member of the committee that had suspended him (Kanade) for misbehaviour. Mithbavkar has been admitted to a hospital and is out of danger.

Mithbavkar, who is deputed at the Colaba bus depot, keeps a record of buses and the driver-conductor assigned to them. A few days ago, Kanade, who is attached to the same depot, had a heated argument with a passenger. The passenger then gave a written complaint to the depot manager. A committee constituted to investigate the complaint, found Kanade guilty. “Kanade was suspended by the committee for a day, which made him furious,” said an officer from Bhoiwada police station. “Kanade somehow felt Mithbavkar was responsible for his suspension as he had a lot of influence with the employees’ union. So, he decided to take revenge,” the officer said.

On Friday, around 5.30am, Mithbavkar, who lives at the BEST residential quarters in Parel, left home. He was a few metres from his building, when three people accosted him and started abusing and beating him with an iron rod. “They kept on hitting and abusing me for a minute or two and then ran away,” Mithbavkar said. He sustained injuries to his head, hands and legs and was taken to KEM hospital.

The Bhoiwada police, after recording Mithbavkar’s statement, registered a case ag-ainst Kanade and two others. “Mithbavkar has named Ka-nade saying he had got angry after hearing of his suspension order. We have registered a case against him. He is absconding, but, we will arrest him soon,” said an officer.

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