Ticket checkers (TCs) today staged a dharna at the office of a senior Western Railway (WR) official demanding justice for three of their colleagues who had been punished for allegedly extorting money from commuters.
And WR and their Railway Police Force (RPF) had a unique method of recording the dissent. They videographed the group of protesting TCs who were sitting on dharna outside the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) Sandeep Silas' office at Mumbai Central.
The reason for the dharna: the WR authorities transferred three TCs from Andheri station after they were found to have allegedly extorted money from commuters on the pretext of levying fine. At around 4pm, a group of TCs along with union leaders gheraoed DRM Silas outside his office asking the WR authorities to revoke the action taken. The group was finally dispersed at around 6pm.
The RPF then turned up to control the crowd and record the whole incident on their handy cams. “We have began this method of recording the entire event so that in case of any investigation, this can be produced as evidence,” a RPF officer said on condition of anonymity.
Sources in WR said that the TCs could also have protested through a written complaint. The three TCs found guilty by the WR authorities -- RP Rai, Sunil Denty and SG Gawad -- have been transferred to Bilimora, Nandurbar and Amalmer stations.
“A complaint was lodged with the Andheri GRP against these three TCs on June 17 for extorting money. A three level investigation was made into this incident before taking this decision and it is wrong for any employee to extort money,” said Sandeep Silas, DRM (Mumbai), WR.
Officials from WR claimed that as per the incident, these three TCs held commuters and charged amounts as fine of around Rs 800 to Rs 1500. “No receipts were issued against it,” added Silas.
However the TCs, who protested outside the office, claimed that their colleagues are being framed by the WR authorities. “There is no complaint whatsoever against them. They have been wrongly transferred to non-suburban stations,” said a TC who didn’t want to be named.