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Train hits pilgrim held by RPF

A Gangasagar pilgrim made to walk along rail tracks with his hands tied behind his back by an RPF officer was hit by a train on Wednesday afternoon.

Sudha Prasad, 60, a villager from Uttar Pradesh, was in a critical condition after being admitted to Howrah District Hospital with severe head and hand injuries.

The RPF officer, who had found the pilgrim’s movements near the Bamungachhi car shed at Liluah suspicious, was taking him to the Howrah station police outpost.

Prasad told police that on his way home from Gangasagar, he had boarded a train from Howrah station. After his fellow passengers told him that he had taken the wrong train, he got off when it stopped at a signal near the car shed. He was wondering how to return to Howrah station, about 1.5km away, when the RPF officer intercepted him.

“The officer asked the pilgrim some questions and then tied his hands with his muffler. They then started walking along the tracks towards the outpost,” said Debasis Banerjee, a worker at the car shed who witnessed the accident.

“A goods train approached them from behind. The RPF officer jumped away from the tracks to safety but the pilgrims, with his hands tied behind his back could not do so and was hit by the train,” said

The RPF officer allegedly fled the spot, leaving Prasad bleeding from his head and hands. After workers at the car shed demonstrated outside an RPF outpost at Bamungachhi, officers took the pilgrim first to the rail hospital and later to Howrah District Hospital.

“The man suffered injuries in his head, spine and hands. His hands may need to be amputated,” said hospital superintendent Subhrangshu Chakraborty.

Senior divisional security commander of RPF, Aroma Singh Thakur, said she had received a complaint against an RPF officer and had started an inquiry into the incident.