Train gangs must recognise the harm they cause

Published: Dec 10, 2019, 05:04 IST | The Editorial | Mumbai

We must see that this is stamped out with quick and effective police action

This picture has been used for representation purpose only
This picture has been used for representation purpose only

Local train goonda-ism reared its ugly head when a man was thrown out of a running local at Kurla station.

Reports everywhere stated that the man was allegedly involved in a fight with four fellow passengers over a seat in the CSMT-bound local train on the harbour line of Central Railway. The brawl began at Govandi after the four passengers boarded the train and began arguing with the 35-year-old victim.

The argument soon turned violent and the four passengers dragged the victim to the door and pushed him off the train. As soon as the man fell between Tilak Nagar and Kurla, a Panvel-bound train ran over his right hand.

There have been widespread reactions to the report, proving that it has resonated with so many. Train gangs and goonda-ism is a common phenomenon and one that needs to be tackled through tough measures.

We see and hear of such gangs, which feel entitled to certain seats. They bully lone commuters into abandoning their seats, saying they commute using those seats regularly. Fights break out over certain 'spots' near windows or doors of compartments. Commuters from a certain areas group together and monopolise spaces. At times, this escalates to terrorising. Other commuters have to obey to what these gangs say and do what they are told, or face consequences.

We must see that this is stamped out with quick and effective police action. Just like announcements about littering and reporting suspicious packages, the Railways may consider announcements to prevent such forceful occupation of seats and bullying of commuters. Punishments for such serious offences must be displayed or announced to provide a deterrent.

The victim in the current case could have died — there must be recognition of this fact and the offenders must be caught and punished accordingly.

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