Mumbai: 'Maniac' BEST driver in soup for hitting auto, punching girls
After almost running over an autorickshaw, BEST bus driver gets into argument with auto driver. Three college students trying to help female auto passenger get punched in the face by the BEST driver
The BEST bus at Kurar Police station. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
At 6.30 pm on Wednesday, a BEST bus almost ran over an autorickshaw near Kurar Village’s subway. An argument ensued between both drivers, with the female passenger in the auto joining in. Three Nirmala Niketan College students tried to intervene, only to be punched in the face by the BEST driver Nitin Gaekwad, police sources said. The nightmare doesn’t end there. The three students alleged that they were made to sit at Dindoshi police station for seven hours for the cops to finish their procedures, when the went there to file an FIR.
The three students were returning from their fieldwork and heading to Malad station when the incident took place. One of the victims, Sara Husain said, “We were trying to help as the BEST driver was harassing the female passenger. But he punched me in my face.”
According to police sources, the driver allegedly hit the autorickshaw twice. “The BEST driver was behaving like a maniac. After he almost ran over the autorickshaw, the bus driver hit the auto again. That’s when we confronted the bus driver,” said another victim, Akshata Kamble. Gaekwad has refuted claims. He said, “I have done no wrong. I didn’t hit the auto again. The autorickshaw driver threw a stone at me and I lost balance and stepped on the accelerator, accidentally,” he said.
However, an agitated Nicole Coutinho alleged, “First he hit us, then he started calling us ‘baby, baby…’ It was ridiculous.”
When contacted, a spokesperson from BEST Undertaking said, “The auto driver stopped his vehicle right in front of the bus and threatened to throw stones at the bus driver. In the argument, the bus hit the auto. These women got onto the bus and hit the driver with their slippers. The driver only retaliated.
Sara Hussain and Akshata Kamble at Dindoshi police station
The driver is currently in police custody. Dindoshi police inspector Macchendra Jhadav said, “We are investigating the matter. As of now, an FIR has been registered based on the medical reports submitted by the students.”
Meanwhile, parents of the students said they were forced to wait at the station. “The cops kept them waiting for seven hours. The system has failed us,” said Anita Kamble, Akshata’s mother.
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