Sportspersons and activists on Friday demanded justice for a physically-challenged fencer who died after he was allegedly pushed off a moving train by railway policemen at a station in Uttar Pradesh, a charge the authorities have denied.
The family of Hoshiyar Singh, who was in his early 30s, said he had gone to the compartment reserved for women to meet his ailing wife and mother but got into a confrontation when two Government Railway Police (GRP) constables asked him to pay a fine of Rs 200 for entering the reserved coach."He begged them to be with me for some time as I was unwell. But they kept demanding money. When my husband refused, they assaulted him and threw him out of the train," wife Jyoti alleged.
Singh, who won a fencing bronze medal in the 2005 under-17 national championships in Kerala, was returning with his wife, mother and child from Mathura to their hometown, Kasganj on Wednesday night.
Railway minister Suresh Prabhu has ordered an investigation following outrage over the incident, sources said.
The GRP has registered a case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder against two constables, a guard of the Mathura-Kasganj passenger train and a few officials of Sikandra Rao station where the incident happened.
But superintendent of police (railways) GN Khanna dismissed the allegations, though the case was based on the family’s complaint."Our investigation tells a different story. Singh got down at the station to refill his bottle at one of the station water taps. But before he could board the train, it started pulling out around 7.30pm. He ran but couldn’t catch the door handle and slipped through the gap between the platform and the tracks. He was physically challenged in one hand," he said.
When two GRP constables on three coaches ahead of Singh’s saw the man fall through the gap, they pulled the chain and stopped the train, the officer said.
“They along with station staff pulled out the mutilated body of Singh. In the meantime, as soon as the train stopped, his family members and some other people had begun shouting that the constables had thrown the man out.”
Singh’s death adds to a growing list of sportspersons losing life and limbs because of crimes on trains, which reflects the railways’ poor passenger safety record.
In 2011, national-level volleyball player Arunima Sinha was pushed from a running train by thieves in Uttar Pradesh when she resisted them. One of her legs had to be amputated below the knee but the determined athlete went on to become the first female amputee to climb Mount Everest.
(With agency inputs)