K. Manikandan

TAMBARAM: Trouble broke out at Tambaram Sanatorium railway station on Friday night when irate commuters damaged the ticket counter, after an elderly woman sustained injuries in an alleged assault by a railway employee.

Pounambal sustained injuries to the head after she was hit by a wooden log, allegedly by W.Daniel, a staffer at the ticket counter, eyewitnesses and commuters charged. The irate commuters said that around 7.15 p.m., the woman — around 75, eking out a livelihood sweeping the platform and doing errands — was hit on the head by the employee with the log. She was rushed to a nearby private clinic and given first aid. Eye-witnesses said they were puzzled and shocked when the employee hit the woman.

As news of the incident spread, commuters squatted on the track and prevented the movement of trains towards Tambaram.

Police reached the spot and tried to pacify them, but the commuters demanded action against the railway employee, who locked himself inside the ticket counter. Around 9 p.m., crowds swelled and they squatted on the track again for about 20 minutes. RPF officers escorted Daniel to a Chengalpattu-bound train and took him to Tambaram.

Meanwhile, scores of commuters threw stones at the ticket counter, damaging glass windows and panes. Police said preliminary investigations confirmed that the woman was assaulted by Daniel.