Partha Majumdar, who was assaulted by ticket-less passengers, in Malda on Tuesday. Picture by Surajit Roy
Malda, Sept. 21: The Malda district relief and rehabilitation officer was roughed up on a train from Sealdah yesterday for protesting the presence of alleged ticket-less passengers on a reserved compartment.
Partha Majumdar said the Railway Protection Force personnel and ticket checkers did not intervene when he was assaulted by the passengers and their accomplices at Naihati station.
He had boarded the S-7 coach of the Hatey Bajarey Express at Sealdah and was bound for Malda.
According to Majumdar, the train had pulled out of the station at 8pm and he had noticed that there were several people who were travelling without reserved tickets. “They occupied the seats after pushing aside bona fide passengers. When I protested, they said they were daily passengers bound for the first station to come, Naihati. But I kept on protesting at the harassment of the genuine passengers,” Majumdar said.
The official said he did not foresee what was in store. “These illegal passengers called up their accomplices and asked them to come to Naihati. When the train pulled up at the station, a gang of about 25 people entered my coach and began hitting me mercilessly. The traveller with whom I had an argument also joined them,” he alleged.
Naihati is 34km from Sealdah.
Majumdar alleged that the attackers had snatched a gold chain from his neck, leaving a scar, and also bloodied his nose. They leapt off the train as it began to leave the platform. “While I was being assaulted, my co-passengers were too scared to rescue me. But what astonished me was that the RPF personnel and the ticket checkers were silent spectators,” he said.
After the attackers had left, the co-passengers began to voice their protest against the incident.
“As I was bleeding from my nose, the other passengers pulled the emergency chain and brought the train to a halt at Kalna station. A medical team attended on me and I lodged a written complaint with the Government Railway Police. I do not know whether any of the attackers will be arrested. Considering the role of the RPF and the ticket checkers, I doubt whether action will ever be taken,” said the 35-year-old official.
Majumdar added that upon his arrival here, he had sent complaints to railway minister Mamata Banerjee and the divisional railway manager in Malda.
The additional district magistrate of Malda, Nurul Islam, said he had heard of ticket-less people harassing genuine passengers on trains to Naihati. “If a gazetted officer is subjected to such treatment, I shudder to think of ordinary passengers. The ticket checkers and the RPF jawans purposely do not get involved. We are sending a string of protest letters to the railways.”