Mumbai: Father and son fake disability to travel in comfort on trains

The duo could not afford first-class tickets on their income as sweepers, but wanted to travel in comfort; they bought forged certificates to prove they were disabled so they could board the handicapped compartment

A father-and-son duo were arrested by the Government Railway Police (GRP) after they were found travelling in the disabled compartment in a local train with forged certificates. Both wanted to travel in comfort but could not afford to do so on their income as sweepers, and so they resorted to illegally travelling in the handicapped compartment, which stays relatively empty even in the rush hour. Little did they know that their lie would be found out by another handicapped passenger in the same compartment.

Sudhir Rajendra Lahkar
Sudhir Rajendra Lahkar (above) and his son, Monu, had been using their fake certificates to travel in the handicapped compartment for a year

Vasai East residents Sudhir Rajendra Lahkar (40) and his son Monu (19) were on a Virar-bound slow train on Sunday night. According to the cops, both had certificates and special train passes meant for the disabled. Around 9.45 pm, handicapped businessman Jitendra Ravjibhai Karelia (47) boarded the same train but could not find a seat as the compartment was crowded.

Monu

After crossing Jogeshwari station, Karelia began to doubt whether Sudhir and Monu were truly handicapped. When he asked them about it, they showed him their certificates. This only added to Karelia’s suspicions, as the certificates looked forged. Karelia called the Borivli railway police and lodged a complaint and, with the help of other passengers, managed to pull the accused out at Borivli station, where they were arrested.

During interrogation, the certificates were found to be fake, and the accused told the police they travelled daily from Churchgate to Vasai station and the general compartment was too crowded for them. They could not afford first class tickets either, so they approached someone in Kolkata and paid him R1,000 for the fake certificates. They had been using these for the past year and had never been caught before, the cops added.

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