Monkey behind the wheel: Karnataka driver tells his story

How did the monkey end up on the steering wheel? Prakash, the KSRTC bus driver who was suspended after a video showing a langur sitting on the steering wheel of his bus went viral recently, now tells his story.

Talking about the October 2 incident, Prakash says, “The langur jumped inside the bus from the passengers’ entry door, passed through the aisle and sat on the steering wheel. I was scared at first … but then I gathered some courage and tried to drive it away. However, I was successful only after about 2 km. It then jumped onto a sugarcane-laden tractor between Ele Bethur and Rampura. The langur did not harm me or the passengers as it was human-friendly,” he said.

Also, regular commuters on the Davangere-Anekallu stretch, the same route on which the incident happened, have called the entire episode an accident.

Pouring out his anguish, he said, “I am suffering for a mistake that I did not commit …. my family is facing hardship after my suspension. My mother, wife and three children are left in the lurch after I was suspended for no fault of mine.”

“Ever since I joined KSRTC 11 years ago, I have been driving the bus without any mishap. I was about to get a silver medal … but the langur incident has spoilt my chances as an inquiry is now pending. At least I should be reinstated as I am the sole breadwinner of my family,” he added.

A regular commuter on the bus, Thimmanna called the entire incident an accident. “Prakash is a good man and should not be penalised,” he said. Echoing the same sentiment, Rashmi, a teacher at a private school who uses the bus regularly, said Prakash was suffering for a crime not committed by him. Hailing from a poor background, Prakash couldn’t afford to build a house in Davangere city and was regularly commuting between Mallekatte (his village) and Davangere, to complete his duties and return home.