Calcutta, April 9: A ticket examiner pushed a passenger out of a moving train near Howrah this evening because he did not have a ticket.
The passenger, a young man travelling in the ladies' compartment of the Howrah-Mecheda local, could not be found and police thought he might have escaped with injuries.
But the ticket examiner, Sheikh Samiruddin, is in hospital in serious condition after he was beaten up by other passengers.
'We have received information that the TTE pushed a passenger out of the train. But since the train was not in full motion, he probably escaped,' said Jeet Ram Bhagat, additional director-general of police, railways. 'We mounted a search but could not find any body on the track,' he added. A search is still on.
The train started from Howrah around 6 pm and Samiruddin boarded it at Ramrajatala, two stations away on the Kharagpur line. In the ladies' compartment, he asked the man, said to be in his twenties, to show his ticket.
The passenger failed to do so and a scuffle followed. As the train left Andul, around 40 km from Howrah, the youth was pushed off.
At Abada, the next station, the ticket examiner was heckled. By the time the train reached Nalpur at 6.30 pm, tempers were at boiling point and some passengers attacked Samiruddin. As word spread, more joined in the assault and began to rain blows on him.
'The station manager of Nalpur and hawkers rescued Samiruddin,' a railway official said. He was taken to South-Eastern Railway's health unit at Santragachhi but was shifted to its hospital in Garden Reach after his condition worsened.
The train was stuck at Nalpur till 6.50 pm.
A team of Government Railway Police arrived at the spot and mounted a search for the attackers. 'We are trying to identify the persons and will arrest the guilty,' Bhagat said.
South-Eastern Railway officials said they were probing the incident.