Only in India: Worried Loan Recovery Agents “Hijack” Bus in UP with 30 Passengers


Only in India: Worried Loan Recovery Agents “Hijack” Bus in UP with 30 Passengers

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

Over 30 passengers travelling by road through Uttar Pradesh were in for a harrowing ride on Wednesday morning, after a group of initially unidentified people intercepted their bus near Agra, forced the driver and conductor to get down, and took off in another direction.

The bus, which initially could not be located was suspected to be hijacked, and sparked panic across social media. However, the real story turned out to be even more bizarre.

The police later discovered that the culprits were actually employees of a private loan shark, identified as Pradeep Gupta. Reports said the men were sent to intercept the bus, as Gupta was worried he wouldn’t get his money back from the bus’s owner, who had taken a loan from him, and died on Tuesday.

The bus was travelling from Gurugram in Haryana to Madhya Pradesh’s Gwalior when it was blocked in Uttar Pradesh by the loan recovery agents in SUVs, the police later discovered.

“They got into the bus and forcibly brought down the driver and the conductor. They also told the passengers to not scream and told them that they would not be harmed,” Agra’s Senior Superintendent of Police told News18.

The hapless passengers were then taken to Jhansi, where they were asked to alight and proceed to their respective destinations in other modes of transport. The bus was later recovered — passengerless — in Etawah district.

State government sources were quoted in NDTV as saying the loan shark was prompted to hijack the bus because he was worried that the family of the man who owned the bus would default on their loan payment after his death.

The bizarre situation also caught the attention of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who has faced a lot of flak in the past for the law and order situation in the state. He has asked for a report to be submitted over the incident.

Fortunately none of the 34 people on board were harmed. But with calls for action growing, hopefully the loan recovery agents responsible for this “hijack” will be arrested soon.