Bengaluru, Oct 6: A bus driver of the state road transport service has been taken off duty for allegedly allowing a monkey to steer its wheel in Karnataka's Davangere district, an official said on Saturday.
"Driver M. Prakash, 36, who was at the wheel has been taken off duty for allowing the monkey to sit on the steering and handle it," Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) spokesperson T.S. Latha said.
The incident occurred on October 1 when the bus was on a regular trip from Davangere to Halekall in the same district, about 30 km away.
"An inquiry is being conducted into the incident. As safety of passengers is paramount, a driver cannot risk the life of passengers by allowing a monkey to sit on the steering and handle it."
The monkey got into the bus along with a passenger, a school teacher, who boarded at Bettur Halla village en-route and sat along with him on the left seat before jumping onto the steering wheel.
About 30 passengers were on-board the bus when the incident occurred.
"We learnt about the incident through social media on the next day (October 2) after a video clip showing Prakash and the monkey at the steering went viral on WhatsApp," said Latha.
As October 2 was a public holiday in view of Gandhi Jayanti, the bus depot manager removed Prakash from duty on October 3 after seeing the video clip.
"The video of the incident was uploaded on WhatsApp by a fellow passenger who shot it," added Latha.