A Railway Protection Force (RPF) constable on Monday shot dead four persons, including a senior colleague, in a running train near Palghar railway station in Maharashtra, around 100 km from Mumbai, an official said.
Chetan Singh, 34, shot dead RPF Assistant Sub-Inspector Tika Ram Meena and three passengers - Abdul Qadirbhai Mohammed Hussain Bhanpurwala (48), Akhtar Abbas Ali (48), and Sadar Mohammed Hussain, using his automatic weapon on board the Jaipur-Mumbai Central Express near around 5 a.m. on Monday.
Mr. Singh was arrested by Government Railway Police (GRP) personnel and his weapon was seized as he was trying to flee when the train stopped between Mira Road and Dahisar stations after passengers pulled the chain.
GRP Commissioner Ravindra Shisve told mediapersons, “Police are inquiring with passengers and RPF personnel, who were part of the escort party, and staffers of the pantry car. This is the first-of-its-kind incident on a running train. Passengers are scared. We want to assure them that police will investigate the incident in detail.”
Mr. Singh allegedly fired 12 rounds from his automatic weapon and the GRP recovered eight bullets from the weapon after the incident. He killed the senior policeman and a passenger in coach B5, another passenger in B6, and one in the pantry car between the B5 and B6 coaches.
He hails from Hathras in Uttar Pradesh and was transferred to Mumbai from the Bhavnagar division last March. He had recently visited Hathras and returned to duty on July 17. He was arrested under Section 302 (punishment for murder) of the Indian Penal Code and the Arms Act.
The deceased Tika Ram Meena hailed from Sawai Madhopur in Rajasthan. He was due for retirement in 2025. He is survived by his wife, a 25-year-old son, and two daughters aged 18 and 20.
Western Railway’s (WR) Public Relations Officer Sumit Thakur said, “The family of the deceased will be given total ex gratia of ₹62 lakh which includes ₹25 lakh as per Service Rules, ₹15 lakh as per death-cum-retirement gratuity and group insurance scheme, and ₹15 lakh from the Railway Suraksha Kalyan Nidhi fund and other expenses.”
Divisional Railway Manager of WR, Neeraj Verma said, “The families of the three passengers will also be given ex-gratia amount.”
Videos posted on social media showed Singh justifying the killings and raising slogans against Pakistan and in support of “Modi and Yogi”. However, Shivaji Sutar, Executive Director (Information & Publicity), Railway Ministry, said, “The location and authenticity [of the videos] can’t be established. The matter is under investigation.”
The Railway Ministry, in a statement, said, “A high-level committee headed by ADG (RPF) is constituted to conduct a comprehensive enquiry into the incident”.