25 train stuntmen held, one a robber on the run

Written By Unknown on Rabu, 25 September 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: The government railway police (GRP) on Tuesday nabbed 25 people, 14 of them minors, for performing stunts on trains. The drive was conducted during 3-5 am. All 25 were found without ticket. Background checks revealed that one of them was a robber from Malwani, who had been on the run for three months.

"The crackdown was between Mahalaxmi and Dadar stations. A team of 22 constables, one sub-inspector and one inspector boarded general compartments of down locals. Some mingled with people on platforms," said senior inspector Rajendra Trivedi of the Mumbai Central GRP. "A majority of those caught are residents of Andheri, Vile Parle, Nalasopara and Borivli. Those above 18 were produced before a railway court. Three were sent to prison and eight made to pay fines of Rs 500 each. The parents of the 14 juvenile offenders were summoned and the youngsters counselled."

During questioning, one of the accused, Salman Shaikh (22), told the GRP that he had been booked by the Malwani police a long time ago but was now in the clear. Suspicious of his version, the GRP dialled the Malwani police and found that Shaikh was wanted for robbery.

A Malwani police team had laid a trap at Nalasopara recently to nab Shaikh, but he thwarted them with a sword and escaped (he did not manage to injure any cop). Three of his aides were caught. Shaikh was also found to be involved in two cases of assault at Malwani.

"Shaikh told us he had come to Bandra on Tuesday to buy drugs. We asked him what was he doing on a local train at Dadar, where our personnel caught him performing stunts. He couldn't come up with a satisfactory answer. We suspect he might have had plans to loot commuters," Trivedi said. Shaikh has a record of 18 months behind bars; his favourite hiding places after committing a crime are the mangroves of Malwani.

Viral videos

A video went viral on the internet in which youths are seen slapping railway poles, leaping onto the wall of a bridge and after running on it, leaping back into the train. The local was running between Cotton Green and Reay Road stations August 2013.

A video uploaded online showed a youth leaning out of a train between Thane and Dombivli and performing dangerous stunts on the footboard. Horrifyingly, he loses his footing after a while and the video shows him slipping off the local onto the tracks. He is believed to have died.

Journalist attacked

Three youngsters performing stunts threatened a woman journalist, Bhavna Sharma, with a knife after she asked them to stop their dangerous act. Sharma had boarded the first-class ladies' compartment of the 3.55pm CST-bound local from Wadala. At Cotton Green, the three got into the ladies' compartment and started performing stunts. When Sharma told them to get off the coach, one of the boys reportedly charged at her with a knife. As Sharma screamed, men on the other side of the partition rushed there, making the three jumped off at Masjid Bunder

Drive against stunts

For the past few weeks, the Mumbai Central GRP has conducted a drive against stunts on trains every Tuesday. The day after Ganesh Chaturthi was the only instance when no offenders were caught.

In the past, the RPF (Central line) has conducted such drives, including organizing lectures in schools and colleges explaining the dangers involved in performing stunts on train HELPLINE NUMBERS GRP | 98333 31111 RPF (WR) | 1311 RPF (CR) | 1275

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