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Jaipur-Mumbai train firing: Cops have tough time looking for witnesses

Updated on: 02 August,2023 07:00 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Shirish Vaktania |

While social media was awash with videos of the train massacre, not many passengers are willing to co-operate with the police

Jaipur-Mumbai train firing: Cops have tough time looking for witnesses

Cops outside B5 coach of Jaipur Superfast train, at Mumbai Central station, on Monday. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

Post viral videos on social media: Yay. Help cops with the investigation: Nay. Investigators of the train shooting by RPF constable Chetan Kumar Singh have been struggling to get a first-hand description of the bloodbath. But, all eyewitnesses seem to have vanished into thin air, cops told mid-day on Tuesday. So far, the cops said, they have only been able to record statements of those who heard the commotion aboard the Jaipur-Mumbai Central Superfast Express on the morning of Monday.

At least five to six videos, shot by the passengers travelling in the compartment where the shooting happened, went viral on social media soon after. However, 24 hours later, none of these passengers are reachable, cops said. The railway police have prepared a list of passengers from the two coaches and are visiting their homes to record their statements. Many people were found to have left Mumbai, said the sources.

Left Mumbai

“Many of them have left their homes and disappeared, fearing that cops will come looking for them. Some of them have switched off their mobile phones to avoid our calls,” said an officer. The Mumbai Central Government Railway Police (GRP) and Railway Protection Force (RPF) have started their investigation into the shooting and approached the passengers for their statement.

GRP’s Mumbai Central division has recorded the statement of 12 to 15 people, including eight-nine passengers who were travelling in B5 and S6 coaches. Among them are pantry employees as well. These witnesses have only heard the commotion, officers said. The police are looking for people who saw constable Singh killing the four people in cold blood. One of the eyewitnesses is an Army soldier, who refused to give a statement.

“The passengers, who have given their statement so far, said that when they woke up, they found dead bodies and blood everywhere. They only heard the noise of the shooting,” said another officer. When the train arrived at Borivli station following the shooting, the GRP officers allowed all the passengers who alighted there to head home. They did not take their names and phone numbers. Now, they are checking the footage of CCTV cameras at Borivli and Mira Road stations.

No criminal record

Sources told mid-day that the officer of the Railway Security Commissioner scanned Singh’s records since he joined the RPF in 2009, but didn’t find a single criminal history or any complaints against him.

During the investigation, they also learned that Singh was previously posted at RPF’s Bhavnagar Division in Gujarat. A few months back, he requested a transfer and was accordingly posted in Mumbai. Singh had told his superior that he would be slightly close to his home in Uttar Pradesh if he moved to Mumbai, according to sources.

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