Akhila and Reshma
The manhandling incident that took place at the Kattakkada KSRTC depot against a man who had gone there with his daughter to renew the students’ concession card shook all Malayalis alike. Amachal native and Poovachal grama panchayat worker Premanan and his daughter Reshma were ill-treated by KSRTC officials. Reshma’s classmate Akhila was also with them. Reshma recalls the events that took place on that day.
“Both of us mount the bus from Kattakkada bus stand. We had gone there early that day as we had exams. The waiting room was locked so we sat outside and revised portions while we waited. That is when we heard the ruckus. Father had dropped me and gone to the office to ask about the student concession card.”
After a while, we saw father and a guy in a mundu and shirt arguing. When I went there, a security guard tried to remove me from there forcefully. He also took father away forcibly. Two more staff members also assembled there and tried to manhandle my father. They pushed him into another room. They also hit us while we tried to stop them.
My father was very weak after the fall he suffered when they pushed him. Nobody came to our help as he was being beaten up by the officials. We went to the Kattakkada police station and informed the matter to the police. Father was shifted to the hospital after the police arrived. We went to write the exam since father insisted on it.
Both girls said that they were in complete mental distress following the incident and struggled while attending their exams.
“How can you not react when such a thing happens to your parents?” Reshma asks.
When I saw my father being attacked, that was the only way I could react. I felt a superpower within me. I do not usually raise my voice at people. I did so that day out of the sadness I felt over the way they were treating my father. If I hadn’t reacted that way, they would have again attacked my father. They behaved with him as though they had some vendetta against him. I felt like reacting that way and I did, said Reshma.