Drunken auto driver threatens students at KC
Manipal: Kamath Circle (KC) turned into the scene of a brawl when a drunken auto driver attempted to attack passing students at around 7 p.m. on January 25. He was arrested by the police.
The auto driver, Apu, was in a drunken stupor as he nearly crashed into a walking student who reacted by impulsively swearing at the driver, an act that incited the driver to threaten and assault the student. Auto drivers nearby had to jump in to stop him from attacking students. The individual is said to have brandished and threatened students with a sickle during the altercation.
Witnesses said that the security guards stationed at the gates did nothing to stop the brawl, except for making calls to their superiors and blowing their whistles. When asked for a reason for not intervening, a security guard, who wishes to remain anonymous, said that guards are not authorised to use physical force.
Ashok Rao, Chief of Security, MIT said, “Whatever was possible from our side, we did. The guards called the right authorities to deal with the situation.” Apu has been charged under Section 323 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code for causing bodily harm and criminal intimidation. If convicted, he could face imprisonment for a period of two years and a fine of Rs. 2000. He is currently out on bail. H.D. Kulkarni, Police Inspector at Manipal Police station said, “The auto driver was sent for a medical examination and we expect the report to be ready in two days. Only after we see the report can we file a charge sheet and take up further investigation.”
Gopal Krishna, a student and witness to the event, told TMJ that Apu had threatened the student he almost crashed into. “He told us that if we stepped out of the campus he’d cut us up and feed us to the dogs. If no strict action is taken against him then there will be a mass protest involving all the MIT students.”
Suresh, President of the Manipal Auto Union said, “Both parties are to blame here. If a compromise isn’t reached then we’ll file a case against the student. They have disgraced Apu by putting up his photos all over the campus.”
Kumkum Garg, Director of MIT; Ramamohan Pai, Chief Warden, MIT Hostels and Ramesha C, former Chief Warden, were present at KC at the time of the incident.