A state transport (ST) bus driver died of a heart attack after he was assaulted by an autorickshaw driver at Bhiwandi on Thursday. The two fought after their vehicles collided, said the police.
The ST bus driver, Prabhakar Gaikwad, 34, is a Bhiwandi resident, and hails from Tuljapur. He was about to park at the bus depot at 1.30 am, when he collided with the autorickshaw. The police said both drivers alighted and a heated argument ensued.
“After being assaulted, Gaikwad brought the driver to police station, where he vomited and then fainted. We took him to Indira Gandhi Memorial hospital, where he was declared dead during treatment. Doctors told us that he suffered a heart attack. We registered an accidental death report and are investigating,” said Ram Balsingh, senior inspector from Nizampura police station.
Soon after the news of Gaikwad’s death spread, the ST bus union from Bhiwandi staged protests and stopped plying. Union members demanded that the rickshaw driver be arrested.
The police initiated a bandobast near the Bhiwandi bus depot.
The autorickshaw driver has been detained and is being interrogated. “Gaikwad died of a heart attack. It is not the autorickshaw driver’s fault. We cannot arrest him without any evidence,” an official said.
Meanwhile, after the news spread about Gaikwad’s death, ST bus union from Bhiwandi staged a protest and declared that they would not ply unless the driver of auto rickshaw is arrested. The police have arranged a heavy bandobast at ST bus stop and have also stationed a few senior officials there.
Manohar Konka, 32, a businessman from Bhiwandi said, “Right after the incident, the situation has become tense. ST buses are not plying on the road. It become difficult for commuters to travel at night.”
A mechanic from ST depot Bhiwandi, 43-year-old Pramod Patil, said, “We came to know about Gaikwad’s death early on Thursday and we did not got to work as we are saddened by his loss. Gaikwad was the sole bread winner for his family. we want his family to be compensated for his death.”