Train hooligans must be stopped

Aug 03, 2018, 06:28 IST | mid-day online desk

Every day, one hears stories of teenage boys hanging out of trains, harassing commuters, blocking exits and generally being a colossal nuisance

Train hooligans must be stopped

Hooliganism by youngsters on trains is a problem Mumbai has been dealing with for years. Every day, one hears stories of teenage boys hanging out of trains, harassing commuters, blocking exits and generally being a colossal nuisance.

Most of us either turn a blind eye to these youngsters or do not want the hassle of looking for an official to complain to. More often than not, these youngsters are off the train even before one can dial the police helpline. This time, however, one of them snatched the phone out the hands of a commuter at GTB Nagar station. They had then stupidly uploaded a video of them performing dangerous stunts and finally robbing the commuter. Thanks to the wide reach of social media, the cops cracked down on the hooligans in quick time and had them in custody within days.

Records for last year show that there were more than 130 youngsters arrested for pulling stunts on running trains while more than 550 were arrested for travelling on the footboard. The Government Railway Police and the Railway Protection Force are always on the lookout for these nuisance creators, but they can't do much because these youngsters are on guard when trains pull into stations or when there are cops around. Most of them are extremely wily, knowing full well that they are being a nuisance and possibly putting their own lives and that of other commuters in danger with their stunts. Which is all the more reason why they must be stopped in their tracks before it is too late. And, this is not just the job of the police.

What we as citizens can do is to stop these youngsters as soon as we spot them being a nuisance. Being afraid to take on a bunch of unruly youngsters is completely understandable if one is alone. But, if commuters come together to tackle this nuisance the only beneficiaries are ourselves.

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