6 passengers held after clash with cops on Darjeeling Mail

6 passengers held after clash with cops on Darjeeling Mail
Malda: Six passengers of Sealdah-bound Darjeeling Mail were arrested on Sunday after three GRP personnel were injured in a clash between passengers and police on the running train.
Four among those arrested are from Kolkata, and one each from Nadia and Jalpaiguri. The six were produced in court and remanded in prison for a day. The passengers, however, claimed the GRP men were extorting and misbehaving with women passengers.

According to sources, a few passengers in air-conditioned B4 coach were smoking on the train when on-duty GRP personnel objected. They were warned of the consequences that could include jail stint and a big fine. This reportedly infuriated the passengers who attacked the policemen, sources claimed.

Police said they were assaulted, the compartment was ransacked and passengers even tried to snatch their firearms. When the train reached Malda Town station, more GRP personnel arrived and took the passengers to GRP office on the platform. It is alleged some passengers resorted to hooliganism there too. Even GRP inspector-in-charge (IC) Bhaskar Pradhan was attacked.

Railway police superintendent E Anappa said: “On-duty GRP personnel were first attacked by a few passengers of B4 coach. Later, some passengers from B5 joined them.” Three GRP men, along with IC, were later admitted to hospital.

The six arrested — Ritesh Kumar, Suprovat Guha, Suman Pal, Anirban Das, Sahadeb Halder and Alok Biswas — were slapped with no less than 12 penal sections, which included attack on railway staffers, snatching firearms and smoking.

The arrested passengers, however, contradicted the police version. According to them, after the train left New Jalpaiguri (NJP) station, around two to three persons in police uniform with WBP tags parked themselves in front of the train toilets. “They stopped every person who stepped out of the toilets and claimed they had smoked or drunk illegally. They took photographs of identity cards and demanded anything from Rs 1,200 to Rs 1,300 per person. A few people paid up,” a passenger alleged.

A woman passenger claimed: “They misbehaved with us and threatened us. This only got worse when some passengers objected to the extortion. They hit people and even snatched possessions. And instead of getting redressal, six persons have been arrested.”

Another passenger claimed: “The fact that they were smoking and drinking was baseless. These were young people who were returning after a vacation. Police were misbehaving, instead. The clothes of some passengers were also torn.”

The train finally left Malda station around 2am, two hours behind schedule.(TOI)
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Six passengers of Sealdah-bound Darjeeling Mail were arrested on Sunday after three GRP personnel were injured in a clash between passengers and police on the running train.

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