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Passenger punished in train for snoring

Mumbai: A passenger who snored loudly on a long-distance train was forced to stay awake as punishment by a group of fellow passengers whose sleep was disrupted.

A railway official said the punished man, identified only as Ramchandra, did not press charges and the passengers dispersed as friends.

Doctors said the incident signalled an underlying medical disorder that has long been overlooked in India.

The punishment unfolded last week in in a AC three-tier coach of LTT-Darbhanga Pawan Express when passengers decided not to let Ramachandra sleep so that they could catch up with their sleep. A heated argument took place but Ramchandra eventually stayed awake five to six hours.

Ganesh S. Virha, the chief ticket inspector of the Jabalpur division of West Central Railway, confirmed the incident.

Virha, who boarded the train around 5am on Thursday, told PTI over phone: "When I entered the coach, passengers briefed me about the heated argument. Ramchandra said he was persuaded by fellow passengers not to sleep for some time.

"I sought to know whether the passenger (Ramchandra) wanted to lodge a complaint if he felt victimised or offended but he replied in the negative."

Virha added: "The matter as sorted out amicably. When I revisited the coach later, I found all passengers had become friends."

The loudness of the snore itself typically is determined by an individual's anatomy, said Kamalesh Gulia, a sleep medicine specialist at the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute of Medical Sciences and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram.

"We've heard of loud snores leading to divorces in the West, so it's nice to know the passengers became friends. But this incident highlights the importance of recognising loud snores as a possible health issue."

"It is called obstructive sleep apnoea, or the intermittent cessation of breathing during sleep -- loud snoring is a symptom of this disorder," said Manvir Bhatia, a New Delhi-based neurologist and sleep medicine expert. "Untreated sleep apnoea carries the risk of high blood pressure and diabetes," she said.

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