Errant Maharashtra ticket examiner freed on bail
A Bhusawal railway court freed on bail a TTE who was accused of allegedly pushing a woman passenger out of a running train and causing her death, officials said here Friday.
CCTV footage of the incident showed the travelling ticket examiner (TTE) Sampat Salunkhe was Thursday actually attempting to grab the woman's arm and help her onto the train speeding out of the Jalgaon railway station in north Maharashtra.
After the woman fell and the train was stopped, angry relatives of deceased Ujjwala Pandya and co-passengers thrashed Salunkhe (56) who was whisked away by the Government Railway Police and later arrested.
The relatives alleged that Salunkhe, who has been a state-level wrestler, tried to molest her and pushed her out of the running train as she boarded a wrong coach.
GRP officials said despite Salunkhe trying to help her board the train, Pandya lost her balance as the train picked up speed. She fell on to the railway tracks and was killed instantly.
It may be recalled IANS had Thursday said it was unclear whether Pandya lost her balance or Salunkhe pushed her out of the running train.
Meanwhile, Salunkhe's colleagues, friends and activists of Central Railway (CR) Mazdoor Union Friday staged protests outside the CR headquarters demanding justice for the innocent Salunkhe.
"The Maharashtra government bestowed the coveted Chhatrapati Award on Salunkhe for wrestling in 1984. Last year, his daughter Snehal also bagged the same award for kabaddi. Salunkhe never abused anybody all these years, so how could be molest or push somebody as alleged," said an agitated friend and former wrestler Vinayak Gadhave.
Gadhave said apprehending denial compensation from the CR, some relatives of the victim and local politicians took out a morcha to Jalgaon station to blame the railway officials for Pandya's tragic death.
"They alleged Salunkhe was drunk and he tried to molest and push her out of the running train to build a case for claiming compensation. Now, the CCTV footage has cleared Salunkhe of all the charges," Gadhave told IANS.
Pandya, from Jalgaon, was proceeding to her husband's home in Indore along with her children when the accident took place.
The CRMU has demanded that the incident be treated as an accident and Mumbai-based Salunkhe -- who has only two years left before retirement -- should be spared involvement in any false cases.
(Posted on 30-05-2014)