The Moga incident, in which a girl along with her mother were thrown out of a moving bus after being allegedly molested, has raised questions about the safety of women and children in public transport system.
The incident, which took place on Wednesday in Moga, triggered nationwide uproar. It is the persistent unabated acts of hooliganism of the staff of private bus companies who owe their allegiance to the influential politicians from the ruling government, therefore fearlessly indulge in minor scuffles to major fights with the passengers on daily basis.
Harbansh Singh, general secretary, All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), said, "The Orbit Bus Service which is owned by deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal has been caught up in controversies. Not only they threw out a girl and her mother out of bus, they had also recently assaulted a Punjab roadways staff member at Ludhiana bus stand which resulted in a two-hour shutdown of bus services. Earlier this week, after a tussle over bus timings with the PRTC staff members, an FIR was lodged against the staff members of the Orbit Bus Service at Jalandhar."
He said despite being aware of this, the traffic and transport authorities did not ensure better safety measures for the woman and children.
Richa Agnihotri, assistant commissioner of police (ACP), said, "City Bus Service has taken a brilliant move where they have introduced women as bus conductors. We need more such examples to handle the issue in better way. We have also deployed women cops at various junctions in the city. Besides, awareness drives can play a pivotal role in addressing the issue up to a large extent".
The general manager of Punjab Roadways (Ludhiana) could not be reached for his comments despite several attempts.
Outrage on social networking platform
The Moga incident is largely being discussed on social networking platforms these days. Punjab Agricultural University's Young Writers Association (YWA) Facebook page is inundated with many comments and with the passage of time, they are rising. "The family will never forget this incident forever. Compensating through money will not get their daughter back. The police should also regularly board the buses to check if everything is in order," wrote Swaranjeet Singh, a YWA member. Several others wrote that state government must wake up. The netizens have been seeking strict action against the culprits.