Tinsukia: A stationary bus burst into flames on Thursday morning at the Assam State Transport Corporation (ASTC) campus in Tinsukia, Assam amidst the ongoing protest over laying off of more than 700 employees.
The bus, registered under the number ‘AS12 BC 9447,’ was scheduled to depart for Tezpur later that morning.
However, before passengers could board the bus, it suddenly caught fire, leaving it completely gutted.
No injuries were reported as the passengers had not yet entered the vehicle.
Authorities are still investigating the cause of the fire, which remains unknown at this point.
The sudden ignition has left many bewildered, and officials are working diligently to determine whether foul play or a technical malfunction was responsible for the incident.
Adding to the already tense situation, the fire broke out amid ongoing protests by former employees of ASTC who were recently laid off from their positions.
A decision was made earlier this week to terminate the employment of 771 individuals who were allegedly recruited illegally during the tenures of Anand Prakash Tiwari and Khagendra Nath Chetia as Managing Directors.
According to an official notice, a total of 2,274 employees were hired without following the proper procedures, leading to accusations of corruption and favoritism.
The announcement of the layoffs triggered a heated confrontation at the ASTC office in Guwahati’s Paltanbazar area on Wednesday afternoon.
Affected employees, gathering at the ASTC office, sought answers from the General Secretary of the State Transport Employees Union regarding their unexpected dismissals. Emotions ran high as these individuals voiced their frustration and demanded accountability from the transport agency.