RPF cop shoots senior, 3 passengers dead

MUMBAI, July 31:

A Railway Protection Force (RPF) constable today shot dead four persons on board a running train near Palghar railway station in Maharashtra, an official said.
Constable Chetan Kumar Choudhary fired from his automatic weapon, killing an RPF Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) and three other passengers of the Jaipur-Mumbai Central Express shortly after 5 am, the official said.
According to a senior police official, the accused RPF constable was mentally unstable.
Palghar is around 100 km from Mumbai.
The constable opened fire on his escort duty in-charge ASI Tika Ram Meena in the running train, the official said.
After killing his senior, the constable went to another bogie and shot dead three passengers, the official added.
The accused then tried to escape from the train between Mira Road and Dahisar, but was later nabbed by the Government Railway Police (GRP) personnel and his weapon was also seized, he said.
The accused, who hails from Hathras in Uttar Pradesh, is in the custody of the Mira Road railway police, the official said.
The bodies were taken out of the train at Borivali railway station, he said.
According to railway officials, four RPF personnel, including constable Choudhary, were escorting the Jaipur-Mumbai Central Express from Surat station in Gujarat today.
The four-member team earlier escorted Dadar-Porbandar Saurashtra Express up to Surat station the previous day. On return journey, the escorting party was guarding the Jaipur-Mumbai Central Express, a senior railway official said.
The escort parties generally have four to five personnel of the GRP and RPF in a long distance train. They provide security to trains in their respective railway divisions and thereafter, counterparts from other divisions take over the responsibility of guarding the trains.
Western Railway’s (WR) chief public relations officer Sumit Thakur said that the accused constable was attached to the Lower Parel RPF post here, while ASI Tika Ram Meena was attached to the Dadar RPF post.
The Jaipur-Mumbai Central Express departed from Jaipur station in Rajasthan at 2.01 pm on Sunday and reached Surat station, where the escort party boarded the train, at 2.47 am on Monday.
Before reaching Borivali station in Mumbai at 6.21 am, about 25 minutes late than its scheduled time, the train stopped at its official halt Vapi in Gujarat, from where it departed one minute late at 4.08 am, as per the official running status of the train.
Thakur said an alarm chain pulling happened in the train near Dahisar station, where the accused constable jumped and ran away, before being caught at Mira Road.
The train was held up at Borivali station for about an hour from 6.21 am to 7.15 am, before it left from there and reached its final destination Mumbai Central station at 8.07 am, about 1.12 hours late, as per the train’s running status.
Meanwhile, an ex-gratia of Rs 25 lakh has been announced for the kin of deceased ASI Meena, a senior Western Railway official said.
Meena’s kin will be given Rs 15 lakh from the Railway Suraksha Kalyan Nidhi (fund), apart from funeral expenses of Rs 20,000, WR spokesperson Sumit Thakur said.
His kin will also get a sum from the death-cum-retirement gratuity and group insurance scheme, the official said.
Asked about compensation for the families of the other three victims of the train firing incident, Thakur said, “Ex-gratia will be given.” (PTI)