Two days after HT reported about a BEST conductor who had verbally abused and threatened a 19-year-old college student in a bus, the undertaking on Monday sacked him.
Satpute, who was arrested on charges of molestation by the Oshiwara police on Sunday night, was granted bail on Monday.
Virendra Bagul, public relations officer, BEST, said: “Sandeep Satpute has been struck off the rolls from January 7 as he has been involved in other cases of misconduct.”
“After HT’s [January 5] report, when we started investigating the incident, it came to light that there was another case against Satpute involving misbehaviour with a woman. He had been suspended then,” a BEST official said, on condition of anonymity. “When this complaint came to light, the management decided to dismiss him even before the inquiry ended, as there has been no improvement in his behaviour.”
The incident took place on December 10 when Gazala Shaikh, a second-year BCom student of Vivek college in Goregaon (west) who had boarded the bus, did not hear Satpute ask her if she had bought a ticket as she had earphones on and was listening to music. Satpute continued to verbally abuse even after she showed him her season ticket and allegedly threatened to come to her place at night. When she got off the bus, the accused is said to have made obscene gestures, which prompted Shaikh to approach the BEST authorities and the Oshiwara police.
A BEST official said Satpute could challenge the decision in labour court. “If the court rules in his favour and he tries to come back to BEST, Shaikh’s complaint will show against his record.”
Bagul said Satpute had joined the BEST recently and had not yet become a permanent staffer. “Through this action we want to send across the message to our employees that misbehaviour will not be tolerated.”