A railway employee was burnt to death and two others including the assistant station master were seriously injured when an irate mob set Gulabganj railway station in Vidisha afire after two children were run over by AP Sampark Kranti Express at the station on Tuesday.
The children, both hailing from Bhopal, came under the train when they were crossing the track to get to other platform.
According to information, people burst in anger following the incident because they have been demanding a foot overbridge to be able to cross the railway station safely for past three decades but the demand was never met.
Divisional railway manager (DRM), Rajeev Chaudhary, admitted there had been demand for foot overbridge for a long time but status of Gulabganj station was too small to get sanction for the same but now that such an incident had taken place, a proposal would be sent for construction of foot overbridge, he said.
The railway employee killed in the arson Bhagwan Singh was a supervisor while assistant station master Sanket Bansal and a civilian sustained serious burn injuries.
The assistant station master and civilian identified as Chandra Kant Mugiwar (25), resident of Gulabganj, have been referred to Bhopal for treatment. Their condition was stated to be critical.
Gulabganj railway station has been extensively damaged in the incident and traffic on Bhopal-Bina line remained disrupted for four hours following the incident.
Due to arson, both up and down signals at the station were damaged and several trains, which were supposed to pass through Gulabganj, had to be stopped.
On receiving information about the arson and death of a railway employee at Gulabganj, railway employees at Bhopal staged a protest at Bhopal railway station in protest.
The children, who were run over by the train, were identified as Anam (12), daughter of Yusuf and Ali (4) son of Jamil Khan, both resident of Ashoka Garden, Bhopal.
Government Railway Police (GRP) Vidisha said the deceased had gone to Mugwara Village near Gulabganj to meet their relatives and they were coming back to Bhopal. They were accompanied by Anam's mother.
They came under the train while going to platform No 2 from platform No 1 crossing the track in between.
They passed under a stationary goods train on a track and were crossing another track when they came under the wheels of the running Sampark Kranti Express. They were killed on the spot.
Following the accident, people gathered at the railway station and went on a rampage. They pelted stones on the railway employees and damaged property at the station.
As the violence broke out, some of the railway employees including assistant station master locked themselves up in the latter's room and the control room.
Some other railway employees escaped from the station to save themselves.
Later, the irate mob locked up the door of respective rooms from outside and set them afire pouring petrol and kerosene at the door and windows, police said.
The assistant station master, a supervisor and a civilian, who were trapped in the assistant station master's room were rescued by a team of local officers. A tehsildar Harishankar, who was part of the team has also sustained burn injuries.
But by that time, assistant station master, supervisor and the civilian had sustained severe burn injuries and supervisor Bhagwan Singh succumbed to his burn injuries while they were being brought to Bhopal.
However, talking to Hindustan Times over phone, sub divisional officer of police Gopal Dhakad said that following the information the local police and administration reached the spot immediately and controlled the situation.
Fire brigades from Vidisha and Ganjbasoda were called to douse the fire, he said.
Help of local water tankers and people was also taken taken to douse the fire, Dhakad added.
It took more than 40 minute to extinguish fire and brought out people, who were trapped inside. Assistant inspector general of police (GRP) Irmeen Shah, who reached at the spot following the incident, said that the situation was controlled soon and disrupted railway traffic was restored in 3-4 hours.
"The injured officials and a civilian were referred to Bhopal, where their condition is said to be critical. A case has been registered by GRP Vidisha and further investigation was being carried out," he added.
Heavy police force has been deployed at Gulabganj railway station following the incident.
Divisional railway manager of Bhopal Rajeev Choudhary said that the railway property worth lakhs of rupees has been damaged in the incident. The railway would also lodge FIR against the people, who damaged the railway properties and set the station afire.
"Both the injured are being given treatment in Bhopal. The railway will bear the expense of treatment. The railway would also give compensation and job to family of deceased," he said.