Mumbai: In a speeding train shocker at dawn, a disturbed Railway Protection Force (RPF) constable allegedly shot dead his immediate in-charge and three other passengers onboard a running train, Jaipur-Mumbai Superfast Express (No. 12956), officials said.
The incident occurred as the train was speeding between Virar (Palghar) and Mira Road (Thane) where the two on-duty cops – Constable Chetan Kumar Singh, 33, and his in-charge, Assistant Sub-Inspector Tikaram Meena – were on escort duty.
It was around 5.23 am when Singh reportedly had an argument with some passengers in the B-5 coach, lifted and aimed his automatic weapon at them, but Meena intervened and asked him to maintain calm.
In an apparent rage, Singh didn’t heed Meena and shot at him and three other passengers, including a pantry car employee, firing at least 12 rounds indiscriminately from his weapon.
He was taken to Mira Road station along with the killer weapon and is under detention even as top police officials rushed to investigate the tragedy.
The deceased passengers are identified as – Akhtar Abbas Ali, 48 of Sewri (Mumbai), Syed Saifullah of Hyderbad, and Abdulqader Mohammed hussein Bhanpurawala, 50, of Nalasopara (Palghar).
As per officials, for a few moments, Singh even tried to hold the passengers hostage at gunpoint, though the exact motives behind his actions are not yet clear.
According to preliminary information, Singh had been in a disturbed state of mind owing to certain family issues. Western Railway Divisional Railway Manager (WR-DRM) Neeraj Verma termed the incident as ‘very unfortunate’ and said it would be probed from all angles.
Police say cop not cooperating in probe, raising slogans
RPF constable Chetan Singh is not cooperating in the investigation and was giving unrelated answers when asked any question related to the shooting, media reports said, quoting police.
Singh, who has been remanded to a seven-day police custody by a local court in Mumbai, is also raising slogans, the police said, adding that it is yet to be ascertained if Singh committed the crime at the behest of someone.
His medical exam is yet to be conducted, the police submitted in court. Singh’s lawyer has claimed that his client is innocent and that he has no knowledge about the firing and has not given food for over 24 hours after the incident.
“My client has not done anything wrong. He said whatever he did was with a service gun and nothing wrong. He was not given food for over 24 hours,” the advocate said, adding that the cops will be investigating whether Singh was mentally unstable.
According to media reports, statements from over 15 people had been taken till now about the train firing incident, including statements from police officials and passengers on the train.