Vasai: 17 booked for disconnecting CCTVs to charge their phones

Jul 13, 2018, 07:18 IST | Samiullah Khan

Facing widespread power outage, several Vasaikars made the most of plug points at the railway station; little did they know it will land them in trouble

Vasai: 17 booked for disconnecting CCTVs to charge their phones
Authorities realised what was going on only on Wednesday afternoon. Pics/Hanif Patel

Desperate times in the monsoon prompted some railway commuters in Vasai to resort to desperately charged measures. Since the flood-like situation caused by the heavy downpour had left Vasai temporarily without electricity, crafty commuters decided to steal some from the railways on July 10 and 11 to charge their mobile phones — by cutting off power supply to several CCTVs at the railway station.

TURNS out, the commuters had begun stealing electricity from the station on Tuesday. Most of those arrested were locals. They had to come to the station to charge their phones, to reach out to family and friends, because electricity had been cut off in their homes since the last 40 hours.

Commuters had begun unplugging CCTVs to charge their phones on Tuesday
Commuters had begun unplugging CCTVs to charge their phones on Tuesday

The station was the only place where the electricity supply had been maintained through a generator. This drew people towards it. They started removing the CCTVs from their power plugs on platforms 1, 6, 4 and 5 and the ticket booking counter area, ultimately unplugging more than 13 CCTVs, after which they plugged their mobile phone chargers in the sockets, said a Vasai RPF officer.

Busted the next day
The Vasai railway station officials found out about the theft only on the afternoon of July 11, after noticing that many CCTVs were not working. They sent a technician to rectify the problem, only to realise that the CCTVs' power sockets were filled with mobile chargers.

Commuters removed CCTVs from their power plugs to charge phones because electricity had been cut off in their homes. Pics/Hanif Patel
Commuters removed CCTVs from their power plugs to charge phones because electricity had been cut off in their homes. Pics/Hanif Patel

Looking at the situation, it became evident that the stranded commuters had pulled out the power plugs to charge their mobile phones. Officials raised the issue before higher authorities, who conveyed it to the RPF. Working swiftly, the RPF seized all the mobile phones with their chargers and brought them to their office at the station.

Produced in court
Seventeen people came to the office requesting the RPF to return their phones and chargers. Instead of doing that, RPF booked them under section 145 (drunkenness or nuisance) of The Railways Act, 1989, and produced them before the judicial magistrate first class railway court on Wednesday. The court charged all 17 accused a fine of Rs 200 and released them with a warning.

"We know about people's problem, but railway security is important too. We have taken such strict action so that no one does such a thing in the future," said the Vasai RPF officer.

Also read: Mumbai Rains: Vasai-Virar limp back to normalcy after deluge

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