Group-D Staffer attacks Senior Railway Officer in his chamber at Nagpur

NAGPUR: In a bizarre incident, Senior Divisional Commercial Manager (SrDCM) of Nagpur Dr Sumant Deulkar was attacked in his chamber by his driver with a small knife fixed to a nail-cutter on Wednesday morning.

Perhaps the first-of-its-kind in the Central Railway, the bloody attack on a senior officer of Indian Railway Traffic Service (IRTS) sent shock waves in the administration.

Although administration said the attack was ‘out of the blue’, it looked pre-planned as the accused driver, Pankaj Wasnik, 29, was seen loitering in the passage adjacent to SrDCM’s cabin from 10am. Wasnik followed Dr Deulkar to his cabin five minutes after his entry around 10.30am.

Eyewitnesses said he bolted the door from inside and assaulted Dr Deulkar on his head and face with the knife catching the officer unawares. Hearing commotion in his chamber, a commercial department staffer Ramsingh Rawat and others forced inside and captured the accused. Even then Wasnik was heard abusing the officer.

Dr Deulkar was profusely bleeding as he suffered injuries to his head, neck and ears. He was rushed to the Central Railway Hospital on the same premises. Dr Deulkar received three stitches and is out of danger.

Being a soft-spoken officer, Dr Deulkar is popular among the staff. Hearing the news around 400-500 employees gathered at the DRM’s office. They also made a beeline at the hospital to meet SrDCM. All senior officers visited Dr Deulkar but DRM Brijesh Dixit was not among them.

Wasnik is a luggage parcel porter (LPP) attached to the commercial branch in DRM’s office from December 5, 2011. He was appointed in 2006 on compassionate grounds.

The accused was handed over to the Sadar Police Station by the Railway Protection Force (RPF) sleuths. Neither the RPF nor police could find out the reason behind the attack. There were rumours that the driver turned violent as he was not being granted leave.

When contacted, Dixit was quick to say, “There was nothing related to the railway system. But this is not the way to address your problems. Dr Deulkar is the most modest member in my team. I appreciate that he fought back the attack.”

Senior divisional security commissioner (SrDSC) A Ibrahim Sheriff said it was a serious issue. “It is purely a police case and the accused did not utter a single word why he attacked SrDCM,” Sheriff said. He added a security plan for station with 190 CCTV cameras, two high resolution metal detectors, 12 monitors was in the tendering process.

The accused has been suspended and transferred to Parasia in MP. A charge sheet has been issued to Wasnik. He will also be issued a major penalty charge sheet (SF5), said PRO P D Patil.

Central Railway Mazdoor Sangh (CRMS), National Railway Mazdoor Union (NRMU), Rail Kamgar Sena (RKS), Central Railway Promotee Officers Association and All India OBC Association flayed the attack but none came forward to protest, which is a common practice among unions to raise various demands.