A 19-year-old was allegedly abused and pushed by a group of four to five people in a Churchgate-bound train on Friday, because he was standing on ‘their spot’ in the train.
The teen is a student of Mithibai College and was on his way to tuition classes in Andheri when the incident happened. The men who bullied him allegedly told him they had been travelling in the train for the past 20 years and always stood on the same spot. When the student refused to move, they manhandled him.
For the past week, there have been fewer government railway police (GRP) officers in suburban trains, as about 66% of the force was on election duty.
“I was late for my classes and hence could not take the train I usually do. I got into the 8.06am Malad-Churchgate fast local,” said Parv Sigtia.
The teenager said he was standing near the door of the first-class compartment as he had to get down at Andheri. However, before the train left the station, a commuter approached him and asked him to move.
“I was stumped after he said I must have gotten into the train at its shed in Kandivli. The man said I was standing on his group’s spot, which had been theirs for 20 years, and must make way for them. After I refused to budge, one member of the group started pulling me,” said Parv.
The men continued to harass him even after the train began moving and none of the passengers intervened, the 19-year-old claimed.
“One man from the group asked the other to be careful, or I would fall from the train. To this, he said many people fall from trains and die every day, and it would not matter if the same happened to me,” said Parv.
Even after the youth alighted at Andheri, the man followed him and tried to bully him. However, Sigtia shouted for help and the man finally backed off.
Some journalists got to hear of the incident and informed the GRP.
“I am really shocked by what my son went through and the people involved should be taught a lesson. GRP officials called us and asked us to lodge a complaint, which we will do on Saturday,” said Alka Agarwal Sigtia, Parv’s mother.
GRP has assured the family of strict action against culprits.
“I have asked the teen’s family to lodge a complaint with the Andheri GRP. The requisite will be taken against the accused,” said Ritesh Aher, GRP spokesperson.