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Steel official bids train to stop

Calcutta, May 17: A top official of Durgapur Steel Plant was arrested at Howrah station this morning for stopping a train “without any valid reason by pulling the chain” so that he could board it.

DSP’s executive director, finance, Siddheswarnath Srivastava, and his son were booked by the Railway Protection Force when they stopped Poorva Express just as it was pulling away from the station.

They were later released after paying a fine.

According to the RPF, Srivastava was returning from a visit to Bhilai and wanted to take Poorva back to Durgapur without wasting time in Calcutta. His son was waiting at the station to receive him and put him on Poorva Express.

However, Mumbai Mail by which Srivastava was returning to Howrah was late and he reached the station just as Poorva was beginning to pull away at 9.10 am from platform number 9.

Desperate to take the train, he asked his son to rush and pull the emergency chain of Poorva so that he could board it. His son was not travelling with him but was carrying a platform ticket.

Srivastava later said he was “in a hurry to get back to my workplace”. “I was just desperate to get back to Durgapur and it was unfortunate that Mumbai Mail was running late.”

Just as the train ground to a halt, RPF personnel rushed to investigate. When they found that Srivastava’s son had pulled the chain so that his father could get on the train, an argument ensued between the police and the DSP official.

The RPF alleged that Srivastava warned them of dire consequences unless he was allowed to carry on with his journey.

The DSP official later said: “At no stage did I threaten or abuse the police.”

as a crowd gathered and a commotion began, the police decided to take Srivastava and his son into custody. They took them over to their office and charged and arrested them.

“A short while later, they were produced before a railway magistrate who fined them and let them go,” said Jeet Ram Bhagat, additional director general of police, railways.

While Srivastava was fined Rs 300, his son had to pay Rs 500 for pulling the chain.

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