Hundreds of daily commuters celebrated Dussehra on the railway platform on Saturday, by lighting firecrackers and setting off bombs within a few feet of electric wires, train rakes and other scared passengers.
The video footage (available with MiD-DAY) taken by a passenger at the railway platform shows that the law was violated in front of the policemen with impunity.
While no action was taken on the spot, the RPF has started looking for those involved with the help of the pictures taken by some of the other commuters.
“There were many groups in hundreds who have to be booked. Though we have arrested nearly 16 passengers, but (we) are still looking for others,” said an RPF official, on condition of anonymity.
The passengers, who were celebrating Dussehra at Ambernath railway station, used 'rassi' bomb, matchsticks and incense sticks. Incidentally, use of any inflammable objects on trains or carrying it is illegal and a punishable offence under section 164 of the Railway Act and the offender may get up to three years of imprisonment or a fine of Rs 1,000 or both.
After a thorough check of these passengers, RPF has succeeded in arresting 16 such commuters.
A senior RPF official said that though this was a job for the Government Railway Police (GRP) as it is a case of law and order being disrupted, but they had registered the case. “These arrests and responsibility should have been taken by the railway police but they seem to be busy and we, instead of our other work, are busy searching these offenders,” he added.
Satish Kashiram Tayde (45), Prashant Yashwant More (27), Atul Namdev More (30), Mahesh Shantaram Shirke (38), Vipul Vilas Pujara (29), Pradeep Arjundas Maglani (29), Suraj Sukraman (33), Sukhwant Jagga Singh (32), Manoj Kumar Ayodhya Prasad (32), Sunil Ahuja (47) are some of the offenders arrested by the RPF.
“Many of them are working at Nariman Point and few in shops. As it was a Sunday on Dussehra, so they planned to celebrate a day before and came in full preparation,” added the RPF staff. They have been booked under section 153, 164, 145b of IPC and section 146 of Railway Act.
Rubi Nayak, a regular passenger from Ambernath to Thane said, “It is most disturbing to note that in the name of religion, individuals exercise unsafe methods that could lead to dangerous situation for the lives of passengers travelling by trains. They should be punished and taught a lesson.”
Alok Bohra, Senior Divisional Security Commissioner, RPF (CR) said, “We are screening the CCTV footages and trying to catch all the offenders involved in the act. Though we have arrested few but others are also on the search list.”
Despite several attempts to contact Government Railway Police officials, they did not respond.