The Railway Protection Force (RPF) and the Government Railway Police (GRP) on Monday squabbled over the alleged delay in taking the injured US national to hospital, suggesting that they cannot set their differences aside and work towards improving the safety of rail commuters.
While officials with the RPF, which is under the Centre and the Railways, claimed that GRP policemen arrived only after the victim was on her way to Nair hospital, officials with the GRP, which is under the state government, maintained that they reached the station master’s cabin at Mumbai Central when the victim was waiting there in the presence of an RPF official.
The RPF said its constable, Narendra Singh Yadav, was outside the women’s compartment on platform 1 of Mumbai Central station. “Apart from Yadav, an off-duty RPF inspector was travelling on the same train. They, along with some commuters, took the victim to the station master’s cabin,” said Rajendra Rupanwar, senior divisional security commissioner, RPF, Western Railway. “She was administered first aid and taken to the hospital even before the memo of the incident was ready.”
Rupanwar said GRP constable LU Patange joined the RPF only on the foot over bridge when they were going to Nair hospital with the victim.
GRP officials said Patange, who was on platform 2 at Mumbai Central, reached the station master’s cabin within seconds after the station master started making announcements summoning the GRP personnel.
“It is not about whose job is what in such an incident. The station master Rajeevkumar Ranjan told me that taking an injured to hospital was not their job. On humanitarian grounds, they should not have waited for the GRP to arrive,” said Rajendra Trivedi, senior inspector of Mumbai Central GRP.
GRP commissioner Prabhat Kumar confirmed that railway employees waited for GRP personnel to arrive at the spot instead of taking the victim, Michelle Mark, to hospital.
Some onlookers have alleged that railway officials took a while to even provide first aid to the victim who had been slashed with a blade.