25-year-old caught at Wadala while pasting posters of godman in train

Sabbir Sheikh

Sabbir Sheikh  

A man was caught red-handed while putting up posters of a godman by a special team of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) on Monday.

The culprit, Sabbir Sheikh (25), was pasting posters of a ‘Baba Guru Hussain’ at 5 a.m. on board a train at Wadala Road station, which was travelling from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus to Bandra. “On receiving information from a source, constables Ganga Sagar, Ratanlal Meena and Manoj Meena dressed up as civilians and boarded the train to find the man putting up these posters,” Maheshchandra Joshi, inspector, Kurla car shed, said.

The accused was then taken to court where 13 cases were filed against him, including two pending cases from 2019. He was imposed a fine of ₹2,300 per case that came to a total of ₹29,900, and was allowed to leave after paying the money. He had also pasted posters of other babas such as ‘Baba Jaid Khan’ in the past, RPF officials said.

K.K. Ashraf, Senior Divisional Security Commissioner, Mumbai Division, Central Railway, said they had set up teams as they had been receiving complaints about the rising incidents of posters being pasted on local trains. The RPF has been cracking down on the posters especially of self-proclaimed godmen as it amounts to defacing railway property and is also punishable under the anti-superstition Act.

RPF officials said they did not have jurisdiction over the latter and hence charged the accused under Section 166 of the Railways Act.

Mr. Joshi said Mr. Sheikh confessed that the posters were mostly put up in the Harbour Line and the Western Line as these had lesser police arrangements than the Central Line, and was paid ₹300 per night for the job. The RPF has been taking steps to curb the poster menace in Mumbai local trains for the past few years. In 2019, the RPF had registered 240 cases and jailed 50 people for defacing railway property. The number of cases has been reducing as it stood at 509 in 2018 and 1,580 in 2017.

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2020 12:39:39 AM |

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