Drunk inspector forces old man get off Hanoi bus

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A private transport company employee will be dismissed for beating a 73-year-old man and forcing him off a bus during a drunken squabble.

On April 19, the victim (whose name has been withheld) got on a bus traveling from Hanoi to Bac Giang Province.

A pair of Bac Ha Passenger Transport Company inspectors (one of whom was named Nguyen Van Ha) got on the bus in Bac Giang's Viet Yen District. Soon afterward, a quarrel broke out between Ha and the old man.

A passenger named Hoang told VnExpress that the inspector asked the man to get off but he refused, saying he had bought a ticket for the whole route and the inspector has no right to force him off.

The inspector pulled the man to the front door and forced him out, Hoang said.

"[Ha's co-worker] calmed him down and took the [Ha] to the back of the bus but he continued to be insulted by Ha," Hoang said.

Than Xuan Hanh, deputy head of the company's legal division, confirmed that Ha was drunk and was not on duty at the time of the incident.

"When he got on the bus, Inspector Ha asked the man to move from the aisle to the window seat but the man refused saying he was tired. A quarrel ensued.

"Ha then grabbed the man and forced him off," he said.

Hanh said that a company representative accompanied Ha to the victim's house in Bac Ninh on April 20 to offer an apology.

He said the company will dismiss Ha for beating the man.

Hanoi authorities have recently claimed to improve bus services in an effort to promote public transportation and curb traffic congestion.

Nguyen Phi Thuong, director of Hanoi Transport Company, said the company dismisses one driver and a driver's assistant every day, on average, due to violations of company policy.

Recently, the city transportation department asked the Hanoi People's Committee to increase bus fare to improve services but many passengers said the move would be ineffective.

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