The commuters of a Karnataka state bus witnessed an unusual sight when the driver allowed a langur (Hanuman langur) to sit on the steering wheel of the bus as he drove on. The driver has been suspended from duty on charges of putting the lives of the passengers at risk.
The incident took place on October 1 during a Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus trip from Davanagere to Bharamasagara. A passenger on the moving bus shot the video, which shows the driver – Prakash – patting the langur's back several times as he lays perched on the steering wheel. Also, the driver is seen allowing the langur to take control of the wheel while he changes gears.
According to a KSRTC official, the langur came with a teacher and went on to sit on the steering. "The langur came with a teacher, who travels regularly in the bus. But it went and plonked itself on the driver's seat and refused to leave despite efforts by passengers to remove it from there. He (Prakash) is an animal lover, but he should not have allowed this while driving a bus. The animal left the wheel after two-three minutes and alighted at the next stop. There have been no complaints from passengers so far," he said.
"We have removed the driver from duty and have asked the divisional security inspector to conduct an inquiry. He won't be assigned any further duty till probe is completed; he could even be suspended," the KSRTC official added.
But social media users are in splits over the removal of the driver. While some say that "the animal-loving" driver should have been let off with a warning, others are calling him "crazy" and backing his suspension from the job.
As per some experts, Hanuman langurs are found everywhere, including urban areas. Netizens, however, are divided in their opinion about the incident.
Watch the video here: