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HRTC Driver and Conductor Brutally Attacked by Hooligans During Holi Celebrations in Shimla

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Shimla, March 26: In a disturbing incident fueled by the fervor of Holi celebrations, a group of unruly individuals mercilessly attacked a driver and conductor of the Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) in Junga, leaving them severely injured. Both victims are currently undergoing treatment at IGMC due to serious injuries sustained in the assault. The bus driver, Hitesh Kumar, recounted that the unfortunate incident occurred yesterday when an HRTC bus (HP03B – 6189) was en route from Shimla to Sadhupul.

During the journey, as the bus approached Junga, some intoxicated youths were playing Holi on the road. When the bus requested passage, these youths, in the heat of Holi fervor, attempted to drag the driver, Hitesh Kumar, out of the bus. In defense of the driver, the conductor, Rahul Chauhan, intervened, only to be violently pulled down by his hair and mercilessly beaten by the youths. Meanwhile, other assailants assaulted the driver and even ripped electrical tubes off the bus to attack him.

The president of the HRTC Workers Union, Maan Singh Thakur, strongly condemned the incident and warned the government that if all eight culprits involved are not promptly arrested, they will block roads across the entire state. He criticized the delayed response of the Junga police, stating that the incident occurred around 4 p.m., yet the police arrived at the scene nearly two hours later. Despite this, no arrests were made. Thakur expressed disappointment at the lack of action and called for immediate arrests.

Regional Manager of HRTC, Shimla, Pankaj Thakur, expressed concern over the incident, emphasizing that despite adverse circumstances, field staff members continue to provide their services. Such incidents undermine their morale, raising serious concerns.

Additional Superintendent of Police, Shimla, Ratan Negi, assured that a thorough investigation is underway, and all suspects will be apprehended expeditiously. SHO of Dhalli, Viruchan Negi, confirmed that four individuals have been detained in connection with the assault on HRTC staff. Legal action will be taken against them once identified by the aggrieved HRTC employees.

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