A driver of the Uttar Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation and his assistant were suspended on Monday after they halted their bus to allow two passengers to offer namaz, reported The Times of India.

The incident took place on June 4 after the bus left Bareilly terminal and stopped at NH24 in the Milak area of Rampur district. The bus was carrying 14 passengers at the time.

The driver, KP Singh, said that he stopped the bus as few of the passengers wanted to use a roadside toilet, reported the newspaper. He said then two other passengers told him they wished to offer namaz. Singh said he agreed to it and kept the bus at halt for a few more minutes to allow them to offer namaz.

However, some other passengers in the bus protested when they found that Singh was waiting for the two passengers to finish their prayers. One of the passengers allegedly shot a video of the incident and shared it on social media, claiming that the bus was stopped just for the two men to offer namaz.

Deepak Chaudhary, the regional manager of the transport body, told IANS that Singh and Yadav were suspended after an initial inquiry and because safety and security of passengers cannot be put at risk by stopping the bus on a busy highway.

Hussain Mansoori, a resident of Ahmedabad in Gujarat, who had offered the namaz, said that the action against the Singh and Yadav was surprising, reported The Times of India.

“I had to board a train from Delhi and I reached on time,” Mansoori told the newspaper. “The bus stopped for other passengers as well, and I am surprised that such an action has been taken for giving us time to offer prayers. If required, I will do everything possible to support them.”

Meanwhile, Yadav said that he and Singh will challenge the suspension order. “We don’t think that they have done anything wrong by offering prayers,” Yadav told IANS.

The employee welfare association has also extended their support to Singh and Yadav.

“Employees cannot be suspended without a proper probe,” Hari Mohan, the association’s president, told the news agency. “In such complaints, a committee is formed and action is taken after the panel finds the person guilty. In this case, they were not even given time to explain.”