The unions of Central Railway employees have threatened to slowdown work if the staff responsible for maintenance of signal posts are called by the Government Railway Police (GRP) for interrogation in connection with April 19 accident at Nahur in which three commuters died after being hit by the loose ladder of a signal post.
The Central Railway Mazdoor Sangh (CRMS) and National Railway Mazdoor Union (NRUM) have threatened to start work-to-rule agitation, and want the administration wait for the report of an internal inquiry.
The agitation could mean disruption in services. Safdar Siddiqui, secretary of CRMS' Mumbai division said: "If we function as per the rulebook, 30% of services will be cancelled. Our motormen will not do overtime and all caution orders and speed restrictions will be issued and followed if any action is taken against the railways employees."
Though, officially, CR has denied any carelessness or negligence on part of its staff, the GRP has begun investigation into the incident. It has issued a notice to CR's divisional railway manager (Mumbai division) to send the staff members responsible for maintenance of the signal post to appear for investigation at GRP's Kurla office.
But the unions have opposed the move. They also fear that the employees could be arrested in connection with the case. "There is no need to send railway employees for any enquiry. If any action is taken against the," the CRMS has said in a letter to the divisional railway manager.
Both the unions have also insisted that the accident was not fault of the employees. "CRMS is of the opinion that the incident was due to over-crowding in the particular coach of the local [train] and no other reason," the letter says.
A senior CR official admitted a five-member panel has been appointed in the case and its report is awaited in four days.