RPF cops bear the brunt of irate passengers

Male commuters were agitating against empty ladies special trains, protest turned violent as RPF personnel arrived at the site to control the situation

Train services were affected on the Trans Harbour section of Central Railway at Thane railway station yesterday as the 9.14 am Thane-Panvel Mathrubhumi ladies special local was stopped by a mob of nearly 150 male commuters. They claim that since few women travel on this stretch, the special train services are a waste and moreover cause the subsequent trains to be overcrowded.

Stoned: The angry mob hurled a stone at Sub-Inspector S P Singh that
hit his eyebrow. PicĀ / Sameer Markande

As tempers flared, railway officials called Thane RPF personnel to the site.

The mob, however, turned violent and started pelting stones at the RPF, which included two sub-inspectors and seven to eight constables.

During the skirmish, a stone hit Sub-Inspector S P Singh on his left eyebrow, while other police personnel received minor injuries.

"The mob began pelting stones at us, and suddenly one boy who was standing very close, picked up a stone and threw it at me," said Sub-Inspector SP Singh. He was then pulled to the side by his colleagues and was administered two stitches just above his eye. "I could have lost my eyesight if it had hit me any closer," Singh added.

The RPF personnel managed to restrict the mob and the train left the platform at 9.54 am.

PC Sinha, senior divisional security commissioner, said, "We have detained two people after the incident and after the medical examination they will be taken to the railway court. More police personnel will be deployed at the station."

Two men identified as Jiten Ashok Gurav (19), and Laxman Gangaram Shinde (42) have been detained by RPF and charged with obstructing the railways and assaulting an on-duty policeman. Meanwhile, train services on the Trans Harbour line were severely affected as they were running 30 minutes behind schedule.

Harbour too
The Harbour line too was disrupted yesterday morning on the CST-Belapur stretch as a protection sheet attached to the Road Over Bridge fell on the overhead wire between Seawoods Darave and Belapur. The incident occurred at 6.06 am thus affecting trains going towards Panvel. Tower wagons were rushed to the spot and the line was restored at 8.06 am. During this period, however, services were suspended between Nerul and Belapur as trains couldn't reach Panvel. CR cancelled 22 train services. Six special trains ran from Panvel to CST, Belapur to CST and Belapur to Wadala Road.

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