UP: Driver, co-driver suspended for halting bus “few extra minutes” to finish Islamic prayer

Representative image: Shaheen Abdulla/Maktoob

Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (UPSRTC) on Monday suspended a bus driver and his assistant for halting the bus to allow two passengers to offer namaz, reported The Times of India.

On June 4, the Delhi-bound ‘Janrath’ AC bus left Bareilly terminal and stopped at NH24 in the Milak area of Rampur district for a “few extra minutes” to allow two passengers to offer ‘namaz’. According to the driver, the bus took a pitstop to allow some passengers to use the toilet and when two passengers expressed their wish to offer ‘namaz’ and he agreed.

Namaz, the Islamic prayer, on average takes less than ten minutes.

In a video posted on Twitter, some passengers confronted the driver, while the driver tried to calm the situation. The driver tries to reason his case by asking the offended passenger to be supportive of Muslims.

In a complaint posted by the passenger on Twitter, the person claimed that the bus stopped and two passengers stepped down and started offering ‘namaz’ in front of it.

Following the complaint, the assistant regional manager (ARM) of UPSRTC in Bareilly, Sanjeev Kumar Srivastava, suspended driver KP Singh and co-driver Mohit Yadav.

UPSRTC regional manager (Bareilly), Deepak Chaudhary, said that Singh and Yadav were suspended after an initial inquiry because the safety and security of passengers cannot be put at risk by stopping the bus on a busy highway.

The suspended staffers are surprised by the action and state the action will be challenged.