Who would have though that a simple comment over the quantity of salt in a dish would end up in a major assault on two passengers by a group of Railway Canteen contractors at Borivli station.
An estate agent from Borivli, Sagar Vakode (23), and his business partner Ramesh Joshi (25), had to catch a train to Vapi, in Gujarat, for a business trip yesterday morning. While they were waiting for the train, the duo decided to order some snacks from the railway stall on Borivli Platform No 6.
“As we bit into the food, we realised that there was too much salt and brought it to the notice of the food vendor,” said Vakode. “The exchange led to some minor argument as the vendor, who was drunk, told us to either eat or shut up. By that time our train had arrived so we quickly paid up and ran to catch the train.”
However, as soon as they were seated, a gang of around 15 food vendors boarded their bogie and started hitting them. The assault left Vakode with a ruptured eye, which has a visible blood clot, and a torn lip. Joshi was also hit hard on the upper part of his body.
The commotion attracted the attention of an on-duty policeman. “It was obvious that the gang was out to draw blood. We kept pleading with them to show mercy, but they were not ready to listen to reason. I was scared for Sagar who suffers from epilepsy and is susceptible to fits when in a state of anxiety,” Vakode said.
Acting fast, the constable managed to nab the main accused Madan Khan (23) and promptly took him to the police station where an FIR was lodged against him under sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt with full knowledge and intention) of IPC 504, that deals with intentional insult and provocation for breaking public peace.
ASI Parshuram Tawde of Borivli Railway Police said that charges have also been pressed against two more Railway canteen workers who are still at large. “We have already initiated an enquiry after sending the victims for medical examination,” he added.