A 16-year-old girl was molested by an off-duty conductor on board a cluster bus on Saturday evening, police said. She was allegedly trying to reach a children's home to escape constant abuse by her stepmother.
Police said the victim — the lone passenger aboard the bus which was running on the Khyala-Jal Vihar route — was subjected to lewd remarks before being molested. The accused was later identified as Ranjeet Singh, 32.
The torture lasted for half-an-hour even as its on-duty conductor and driver looked on. It was only after a policeman, posted at a picket on central Delhi's Tansen Marg, flagged down the bus around 11pm that it ended.
"The girl left her house in west Delhi's Raghubir Nagar and boarded the bus around 10.15pm, which at that time had four to five passengers. She was hoping to get into a children's home in Lajpat Nagar," said an officer.
Around 11pm, Singh, who was going to Lajpat Nagar, boarded the bus from Moti Nagar. "The victim told us that Singh started consuming liquor and making lewd remarks. When the bus reached RML Hospital around 11.30pm, he began molesting her," the officer said.
When the 16-year-old broke down, the bus's conductor Tejveer intervened and asked Singh to step away from the victim and sit in the opposite aisle. Fifteen minutes later, the bus was stopped at the Tansen Marg near Mandi House. "After the constable spotted her crying, Singh, along with the driver and conductor, were detained for questioning," said the officer.
Singh was produced at a city court on Sunday afternoon and sent to 12 days' judicial custody. The driver, Prahlad Singh, Tejveer and the accused have been suspended from duty indefinitely.