TTE on anti-hawking duty chased and beaten up by Hawkers in front of RPF

RK NairMumbai मुंबई: After the Esther Anuhya case, one expected that the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) at Kurla would become a safer place, but an incident of Wednesday shows that the law of the jungle still prevails here. A ticket-checker on anti-hawking duty was chased and beaten up in full public by hawkers in the presence of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) which remained an onlooker.

The Central Railway Mazdoor Sangh (CRMS) has alleged that the hawkers were instigated by the RPF. It is a common knowledge that bribes from hawkers form a substantial part of the cops’ earnings.

According to railway officials, the incident happened at 10.30 am when a team of seven ticket-checkers from Kalyan, who are part of the anti-hawking team of the commercial department, were taking 19 hawkers to court. They had been rounded up from LTT as clearing the place of hawkers was one of the measures suggested in the wake of the Esther Anuhya murder.

According to the CRMS, one of the ticket-checkers was left alone with the 19 hawkers while the others were busy rounding up more hawkers. RPF constable Sanap then instigated the hawkers to beat up the ticket-checker and run away. The ticket-checker, R K Nair, fled and hid in the toilet of a train. The hawkers broke up the hardboard door of the toilet and dragged him out. It was only after he had been severely thrashed that the RPF rescued him. Nair suffered head injuries and is admitted to Rajawadi Hospital. All the hawkers fled. No arrests have been made so far.

The Government Railway Police (GRP), which is in charge of law-and-order in railway premises, said that they would look at the CCTV recording to come to a conclusion. “At the moment, we are looking at both sides. The hawker said he was beaten up by the ticket-checker.’’

S S Barve, senior inspector of the RPF at LTT, said, “The man being held responsible for beating up the ticket-checker was not on duty and had just some to drop off his family. He was only trying to rescue the ticket-checker.’’

“The matter will be investigated and those found guilty will be prosecuted,’’ said Atul Rane, chief PRO of Central Railway.