Chandigarh: All buses of private transport company Orbit Aviation were taken off the roads on Saturday evening after Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, who is a co-owner of the company, ordered that all vehicles be stopped from plying in the state.
The directive came after Badal drew flak for three days over the death of a young Dalit girl who was molested and pushed by her molesters out of a moving bus owned by the transport company.
Badal, who owns the transport company along with his wife, union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal, also directed the company officials to send all bus operating staff on an orientation course, a spokesman of the Punjab government said.
He said the buses will remain off the roads till the completion of the orientation course.
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had said on Friday that he personally had nothing to do with the bus company but admitted that “unfortunately, the bus belongs to us (Badal family)”.
The family of three, including a 14-year-old boy, had boarded the bus at Moga town for Baghapurana town, which is 20 km away, on Wednesday evening. The mother and daughter were soon targeted with indecent gestures and molestation. When they resisted, the molesters, including three bus staff members, pushed them out of the speeding vehicle.
The girl died immediately while the mother is in a government hospital in serious condition.
Following pressure from various quarters, police arrested four people, including three staff members of the transport company.
The opposition Congress on Saturday announced that it would protest outside the Orbit transport office in Bathinda on Sunday and stop the company’s buses in Mohali, adjoining Chandigarh, on Monday.
Aam Aadmi Party activists, led by Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann, on Saturday stopped a bus of the company.
Following the protests, police started providing pilot and escort vehicles to the luxury buses being operated by Badal’s company.