A disagreement over seating inside a BEST bus culminated into a 50-year-old conductor, along with a few passengers, getting pepper-sprayed by a visibly irate women commuter.
22-year-old Niyati Soni, who boarded the Sion-bound route number 66 bus at around 9.30am on Saturday, was asked by the conductor to take one of the empty seats that are reserved for women commuters, instead of one in the general section.
"The spat began at DB Marg bus stop, when conductor Chandrakant Ghadge asked Soni to shift to a ladies' seat as the bus was crowded. The reserved seats were empty and hence he asked her to shift, which she did not like. They kept bickering till Mumbai Central station," said Nandkumar Mhetar, senior inspector of Nagpada police.
Later, when the conductor asked her to show her ticket, Soni said that she had a season ticket. When she was asked to show the same, she said that she was going to alight from the bus.
"But, when she got up, she pulled out the pepper spray and pressed the nozzle on his face. In the process two other commuters also suffered irritation in their eyes," Mhetar added.
Subsequently, the driver diverted the bus to Nagpada police station where the Soni and Ghadge's statements were recorded.