“I got off the train and saw an unusually large crowd near platform 1. There, I saw a ticket checker (TC) arguing with a commuter,” said Pappu Yadav, a commuter who witnessed the incident at CST on Friday.
“People watching the scene lost their cool when the TC slapped the commuter, who retaliated the same way. People were so angry with the TC that they started shouting Anna Hazare’s name and even planned a spontaneous protest against corrupt railway officials. The TC realised that the mob was spoiling for a fight, but before he could apologise, the mob charged at him and started thrashing him,” Yadav said, recounting the incident.
Sudhir Bhagdikar, a coffee vendor at CST station said that the passengers getting off the train at platform 1 saw a scuffle between a couple and the TC. When the TC started beating the man, everyone rushed to his rescue, and beat the TC up. “People were so agitated that they followed the TC even when he rushed to the RPF chowky for shelter. The mob would have barged inside the chowky had it not been for the RPF and the railway police,” Bhagdikar said.
“Around 50 people were thrashing the TC. I am sure a lot of them did not even know what the issue was. But you know what mob-mentality is like,” said Radha Birju, a student who was among those present at the spot.