iconimg Wednesday, September 02, 2015

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, December 18, 2012
Travelling in a private bus without signboard can be dangerous. The couple who boarded one such bus Sunday night from Munirka found it the wrong way when the 23-year-old woman was gangraped and her male friend was beaten in a moving luxury bus.

The police, however, termed Sunday’s episode a freak and a first of-its-kind incident in the past seven years. Yet the ghastly incident is a wake-up call for the Delhi police for whom checking private buses during night hours does not figure high on the priority list.

After the incident, a top Delhi Police officer said the Delhi Police have now decided to check even private buses at all the night pickets across the Capital. “We will be checking such buses at least on Sundays,” said Chhaya Sharma, deputy commissioner of police (south). 

Earlier, only call centre cabs, motorcycles, trucks, mini trucks and cars carrying more than four persons were checked for  the police believed that such criminals usually travel in such vehicles.

“The decision to check call centre cabs was taken following incidents of abduction, robbery and rape. After the 2010 Dhaula Kuan gangrape, the police launched a drive to check all mini-trucks plying during odd hours,” said a senior police officer. A BPO employee was abducted from Dhaula Kuan and gangraped in a moving Tata 407 mini truck by a group of Mewati criminals in 2010. 

Asked how unsafe it was to travel in unknown private vehicles, the senior police officer said people should avoid boarding private buses late at night as drivers and helpers are found high on liquor at such hours.

“The drivers of private buses and call centre cabs operate an illegal business of picking and dropping commuters at night. Since they offer commuting facilities at affordable rates, people tend to travel in such vehicles, without giving a thought about safety. Sometimes, even couples - both married and unmarried - tend to use such an unsafe mode of transport,” added the officer.