WR turns to religious heads to rein in hooligans

The Western Railway (WR) authorities are looking for help from a higher power.

Running riot: The broken clock at Mahim station’s platform 1. The vandals also broke signboards and tubelights. Pics/Shadab Khan

Fed up with boys damaging railway properties on the occasion of Badi Raat, the authorities have decided to seek the help of maulanas and other religious heads asking them to tell their community members to refrain from these acts.

Authorities say that boys often go on a rampage during Badi Raat, damaging clocks, signboards and other items at stations. Commenting on the situation, an official said, “It is very unfortunate that a group of boys have been destroying railway property for years. We have warned them in the past but to no avail. This should be stopped at once and so we decided to take the help of the maulanas.”

On a rampage
On Monday night, a group of 16 boys ran riot at stations such as Mahim, Bandra, Santacruz, Matunga, Vile Parle, and destroyed railway property. The accused were identified to be between the ages of 16 and 22. Fifteen of them were arrested from Dadar station, while one from Bandra station. “Of the 16 held, three are minors. They were produced in court and were let off with a fine,” said an official. The boys had damaged clocks, the display board and even broken some of the tube lights at the stations.

Sharat Chandrayan, chief PRO, added that they were taking steps to stop such acts. “We have started a campaign to educate the boys to refrain from such acts.”

Hefty losses
In another attack, a group of youngsters had damaged property worth Rs 22 lakh on the night of June 24. At the time, the vandals had damaged the clock, the pilot indicators, the LCD screens and other items. Following the vandalism, 22 boys were arrested for damaging property and creating nuisance. They were later booked under sections 145, 146 and 147 of the Railways Act.

Speaking of the events and the action taken by the authorities, Rajendra Rupnawar, senior divisional security commissioner, RPF, WR, said, “We have asked maulanas and other religious heads to help us curb such incidents. The boys damage railway property, which is for the convenience of the public.” 

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