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Business News/ News / India/  Bengaluru: 'Namma' Metro official stops farmer from boarding over ‘untidy’ clothes, NHRC seeks report | Watch
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Bengaluru: 'Namma' Metro official stops farmer from boarding over ‘untidy’ clothes, NHRC seeks report | Watch

A farmer was reportedly stopped by a Bengaluru Metro official to enter the platform over ‘untidy’ clothes even though he had a valid ticket. Two days after the incident that sparked outrage on social media, the NHRC has taken suo motu cognizance of the incident and asked for a detailed report

No person can be denied access to public transport based on the nature of the clothes he or she is wearing, the NHRC saidPremium
No person can be denied access to public transport based on the nature of the clothes he or she is wearing, the NHRC said

A farmer was reportedly stopped by a Bengaluru Metro official at the baggage checkpoint inside the Rajajinagar metro station on Monday and was not allowed to enter the platform even though he had a valid ticket. The videos of the incident have since gone viral, prompting a public outcry. The NHRC took cognisance of the matter on Wednesday and issued a notice to the authorities and asked for a detailed report within four weeks. 

The viral video of the incident shows a man, identified as Karthik C Airani, along with other passengers, confronting the metro officials stopping the farmer over his “untidy" clothes. Airani questioned the existence of a dress code for metro commuters.

Is metro transport open to only VIPs?, ask commuters

“He (the farmer) is not allowed inside citing that his clothes are dirty. His sack is also searched, there is nothing inside it that is prohibited from carrying in the metro. The sack has only clothes," the New India Express quoted Airani as saying.

“Just because he is dressed shabbily and other passengers will feel uncomfortable with this, he isn’t allowed. Is metro transport open to only VIPs? I am dressed well. Will I be allowed to travel free of cost," questioned Airani in the viral video.

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“He is from a village. He is a farmer. If the farmer is in possession of anything that is barred from being carried in the metro rail, then you are free to ban his entry. But restricting him without any such thing is blatant discrimination," he said.

The farmer was later allowed to board the metro and authorities expressed regret over the incident.

The incident sparked outrage on social media after the video went viral. In response, Bengaluru Metro issued a statement confirming the termination of the security official involved and reaffirmed the metro service's inclusivity.

In another post, the Bengaluru metro said an internal committee is constituted for a detailed enquiry headed by Dy. Chief Security Officer.

“BMRCL also confirms that the passenger travelled in Namma metro from Rajajinagar to Majestic. Also, an internal committee is constituted for a detailed enquiry headed by Dy. Chief Security Officer. We again regret for the incident. FKI," the Bengaluru metro said.

Social Media Reactions:

Netizens praised Airani for his efforts to stop discrimination and some others slammed Namma Metro officials for their behavior.

“UNBELIEVABLE..! Is metro only for VIPs? Is there a dress code to use Metro? I appreciate actions of Karthik C Airani, who fought for the right of a farmer at Rajajinagar metro station. We need more such heroes everywhere"a user wrote.

"This is disgraceful, metro management u shouldn’t disrespect a person for his dress code. U people allow who wear full short dress or similar to like that," reacted another user.

Another one commented, “Sir Really this is a modern day apartheid practiced in Metro. I know u r going through lot of agony and pain but I am sure u r still capable of at least reaching this to right people and issuing a strict warning and guidelines."

Two days after the incident that sparked outrage on social media after the video went viral, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has taken suo motu cognizance of the incident, news agency ANI reported on Wednesday.

The human rights body, in a statement, said it has “observed that the contents of the media report, if true, amount to a violation of human rights".

“No person can be denied access to public transport based on the nature of the clothes he or she is wearing. if someone possesses any objectionable material, he could be stopped only as per the provisions of the law," the NHRC said.

The right body has issued notices to the Karnataka Chief Secretary and the Managing Director of Bengaluru Metro Rail Corporation Limited (BMRCL) and asked for a detailed report within four weeks.

The NHRC has asked the authorities to include steps taken or proposed in the report to ensure such incidents do not recur in future.

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Published: 28 Feb 2024, 08:24 PM IST
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