In the wake of the attacks against two motormen in Diva on Friday, railway unions have appealed to suburban commuters to not hold motormen and guards responsible for delays and disruptions of train services.
The motormen, RK Chavada and HG Patel, were hurt after angry commuters pelted stones at them at Diva station. Following the attack, a number of motormen participated in a flash strike, and refused to work without security arrangements around 10.45am.
Along with the already disrupted main-line services, the strike caused a bunching of trains at the CST-end. Several trains piled up between Sewree-CST on the harbour line and Curry road-CST on the main lines.
It was only after the railway administration assured to provide uniformed policemen or RPF constables to accompany them did the motormen and guards resume services around 12.10pm.
General secretary of the National Railway Mazdoor Union Vedu Nair said disruptions and delays affect motormen and guards the same way they affect commuters. “Targeting them is not the answer. They are in no way responsible for the delays,” he said.
Chavada, who suffered a head injury said after departing Kalyan station at 7.53am, his train got stuck at Diva LC gate as thousands of people had gathered there. “The train was stuck there for almost an hour-and-a-half. I tried to request people to allow the train to move, but they refused. However, the situation got out of control, when the police lathi charged the crowd,” the motorman said.
Chavada hurt his head when miscreants began pelting his cab. Despite his bleeding head, he drove the train on to Thane as the crowd had been cleared off the track. He received first aid treatment before finally bringing the train to CST.