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Rs 1000 fine for sitting on stairs at Metro station

Thursday’s offender was booked for obstructing railway officials from discharging their duty

By Debraj Mitra in Calcutta
  • Published 19.07.19, 1:51 AM
  • Updated 19.07.19, 1:51 AM
  • a min read
An RPF jawan keeps an eye on the closing doors of a Dum Dum-bound train at Park Street Metro station on Thursday. (Telegraph file picture)

A passenger was fined Rs 1,000 for sitting on the stairs of Mahatma Gandhi Road Metro station on Thursday afternoon, a day after the authorities started warning passengers that trying to prise open closing doors of a train could invite a similar action.

Thursday’s offender was booked under the Indian Railways Act, 1989, for obstructing railway officials from discharging their duty. He was fined at 3.12pm, said a Metro official.

In the absence of a specific provision to penalise passengers trying to stop the doors from closing, the authorities are citing the same provision in the audio-visual messages that are being displayed on screens across the stations frequently.

Around 3pm, Metro employees at Mahatma Gandhi Road station spotted some passengers sitting on the stairs on the platform leading to the concourse and asked them to find another place. One of them is said to have argued with the staff and allegedly refused to vacate the stairs.

“A few minutes later, two trains arrived at the same time. There was a rush of passengers and some of them complained to RPF jawans about the man occupying a part of the staircase. The jawans took him to the station superintendent’s cabin, where he was fined,” the official said.

The man, who was waiting to board a Kavi Subhas-bound train, apparently tried saying that he was not a frequent Metro traveller and would not repeat the mistake but paid up when the officials refused to budge.

The fine, the third since the death of Sajal Kumar Kanjilal at Park Street station on Saturday, indicates that the authorities have decided to be strict to avoid untoward incidents at stations, at least for the time being.

“The man was fined because he was causing obstruction to the passengers climbing the staircase. There were a lot of passengers taking the stairs and someone could have got hurt,” Metro spokesperson Indrani Banerjee said.

Till Kanjilal’s death, the Metro authorities would only fine commuters for travelling without tokens or spitting in or littering the station.

During the evening rush hours on Thursday, Park Street station had additional RPF jawans on both platforms.

Apart from the ends of the platforms, two jawans each were stationed in the middle. A packed Dum Dum-bound train arrived around 7.40pm. As a woman squeezed in, a part of her bag was jutting out. A jawan came rushing and pushed the bag in.