The conductor, Jifin Joy, 29, a native of Nadathara in Ollur, Thrissur, alleged he was attacked by students affiliated to SFI.
KOCHI: A private bus conductor released on bail recently for verbally abusing a student over travel concession was hospitalised after he was allegedly attacked by a group of students in Kochi on Sunday. The conductor, Jifin Joy, 29, a native of Nadathara in Ollur, Thrissur, alleged he was attacked by students affiliated with SFI.
Jifin was on board the Sarathy private bus plying on the Chottanikkara-Aluva route at the time of the attack. When the bus reached near Maharaja’s College around 1.45 pm, a group of students boarded the bus and allegedly entered into a verbal duel with Jifin over an incident that took place earlier this month.
They assaulted him inside the bus, before dragging him out of the vehicle and beating him outside. After creating a ruckus for around 15 minutes, the students dispersed, leaving Jifin at the roadside. He was taken to the Ernakulam General Hospital. Based on his complaint, Ernakulam Central Police registered a case against five students who were later taken into custody.
The police said Jifin was assaulted in retaliation for his refusal to let a student, Shihab from Kochi, to travel on the student’s concession and forcing him to get off the bus on June 6. Shihab, a student of Government Polytechnic Institute in Perumbavoor, was allegedly abused verbally when he boarded the bus, Sarathy, to Aluva from the Kerala High Court bus stop around 6.20 am. Refusing to give him a concession, claiming that subsidised travel time for students begins at 7 am, Jifin and the bus driver verbally abused Shihab in front of the passengers. Though Shihab informed the duo that he was on the way to the college for an examination, they refused to hear him and forced him to get off the bus.
The Ernakulam Central police had registered a case on Shihab’s complaint on June 13. Jifin was arrested and released on bail. The bus owner said following the incident, they had suspended services along the route temporarily fearing retaliation from students. The bus resumed services with Jifin on board on Sunday. Meanwhile, SFI leaders in Kochi said Jifin was the one who started the fight after verbally abusing students again on Sunday. The SFI also sought an impartial investigation on part of the police.