They were protesting attack on a colleague by students
A flash strike by motormen on Friday morning paralysed suburban EMU services on the Chennai Central-Tiruvallore section for about an hour.
Office-going commuters, especially those coming to the city, were put to hardship as 10 Chennai-bound services were forced to stop at wayside stations owing to non-availability of platforms at Moore Market Complex.
According to Southern Railway sources, a motorman was allegedly manhandled by students of a private engineering college at Nemillicherry station on Thursday evening.
As the motorman was injured, the EMU was detained till another driver was summoned to take charge.
Protesting the attack and demanding adequate protection, motormen at MMC reported sick and refused to take out EMUs until the students concerned were arrested. They also wanted police protection while on duty.
Chennai Divisional officials pacified the agitating motormen and assured them that adequate action would be taken.
The motormen withdrew the strike.
Southern Railway Mazdoor Union general secretary N. Kanniah said the railway administration had agreed to deploy armed police escort in select suburban trains. “We have taken up the issue of motormen safety on many occasions. On information that motormen were protesting, SRMU leaders intervened and arrived at an amicable settlement to prevent further delay of suburban trains.”
Owing to the strike, departure of nine EMU services was delayed and no EMU service left MMC from 8.45 a.m. to 9.45 a.m.
This also affected the arrival of 10 trains and the schedule of 10 other EMUs on the MMC- Tiruvallore and MMC-Gummudipundi sections were affected.
Southern Railway General Manager Deepak Krishan told The Hindu that RPF personnel had been deployed at Nemillichery station and a request made to the State government to take action against the miscreants. The administration was also taking up the issue with college authorities to advise their students accordingly,” Mr. Krishan added. The Government Railway Police have registered a case in this regard, according to railway sources.