Several commuters on Sunday approached the Andheri railway police, alleging that some alleged government railway policemen extorted money from them for crossing railway tracks.
“Around 15 commuters, who were caught trespassing, have approached us with the complaint. We are taking down their statements and are inquiring into the allegations,” said Dattatreya Sidam, assistant commissioner of police, Bandra division GRP. He said an FIR will be registered only after the process of recording of statements is over.
As per law, the GRP is not authorised to fine trespassers. They are supposed to hand over the violators to the Railway Protection Force, which is authorised to take action.
Yadvesh Korte, a commuter, said, “Around 10 am, I crossed the tracks from platform number 5 to 3. I was caught by a policeman at 3 who asked me to pay fine and took me to the police station where several men were lodged.”
The policeman allegedly wrote Korte’s name on a sheet of paper. “When I took out Rs 1,000 from my wallet, he snatched it and fled,” said Korte. He, however, said he was not aware of the policeman’s name as he was in civil clothes.
Some commuters alleged that the men extorted money from them for no fault of theirs. “Around 11 am, I got down at platform number 1 and took out my wallet to search for an address. A policeman in plain clothes approached me and forcefully took out Rs 2,000 from my wallet,” said Subhash Gupta, who hails from UP and had come to Mumbai a week ago. “They took me into a room at the police station where around 100 men had been kept,” he added.
Santosh Gupta, another commuter claimed that they took Rs 500 from him after he was caught crossing the tracks. “They asked me for Rs 1,000 but I was not carrying so much money so paid Rs 500,” he said.