Railway Board seeks report on ruckus at Bangalore City Railway station

Bangalore (SBC): South Western Railways general manager P K Saxena on Wednesday inquired into the ruckus created by the members of the South Western Railways Mazdur Union and other railway employees at the City Railway Station on Tuesday evening, causing inconvenience to thousands of passengers.

Sources in Railways said the Railway Board had sought a report on the trouble that led to delayed departure of seven trains, resulting in traffic disruption on almost all the routes connected with the Bengaluru division stations.

Saxena, who arrived from Hubballi, will submit a report to the Railway Board. He also met Chief Minister Siddaramaiah and apprised him of the Tuesday’s incident. Sources said the Bengaluru division officials were pulled up for their negligence on Tuesday by their higher-ups.

Insiders say efforts were on to hush up the matter and that senior functionaries of SWR were trying to control the damage done by the union members who went on strike illegally without giving an advance notice as as per rules . They said the Railway Board officials were miffed by the casual manner in which things were handled on Tuesday.

The All India Station Masters Association (Bengaluru Division) on Wednesday distanced itself from the incident. The Association’s divisional secretary Manoj Kumar and secretary general Shamanand said that on Tuesday the members of the Mazdur Union had barged into the control room cabins from where trains were operated and signals given to allow train movements, and switched off the buttons shutting down all operations.

“We condemn the way chief supervisor A R Panduranga’s arrest, but we do not support the manner in which the strike was conducted and thousands of people were harassed for no fault of theirs. We distance ourselves from this… we never participated in stopping the trains,” they said.

Panduranga, whose arrest by the police triggered the Tuesday’s protest, was granted bail by a city court on Wednesday. He was arrested in connection with unauthorised auction of goods seized by the Railways.

The Mazdur Union members met the ADGP (Railways) R P Sharma and apprised him of their problems and issues. Sharma said the vehicles were auctioned illegally and the Railways did not have records of the auctions held in past two three years. “We had given ample opportunities to the railway officials to clarify and explain, and only after due procedure of investigation was followed, the FIR was lodged and the arrest made by the police,” Sharma said.