A bit of alacrity on part of the railway authorities could have saved a life. The probe into the killing of 31-year-old Dilip Salat and the attack on his family of six on board the Pune-Veraval Express has revealed that the railway authorities had been alerted about the brawl much before the situation turned ugly.
Six men had allegedly molested three women travelling on the Pune-Veraval Express on Thursday. Salat, whose wife was one of the victims, stopped them.
The accused allegedly stabbed Salat and threw his body out of the train.
Had the authorities and railway police acted swiftly, the situation could have been brought under control in time, thus saving Salat’s life, the railway police have said.
The son of a former senior railway official, who was travelling in the sleeper compartment adjacent to the compartment where the incident took place, had witnessed the brawl between the two groups.
Sensing that matters were getting out of hand, he called up his father just before the train pulled into Lonavla station.
“When train reached Lonavla, the station master made an announcement that the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and the Government Railway Police (GRP) should attend to the general compartment,” said GRP Commissioner Tukaram Chavan.
An assistant sub-inspector of the RPF has been suspended in this connection.
On hearing the announcement, the three attackers slid into the last compartment.
“The complainant and his family members approached the RPF and complained about the attack. However, as the train was about to leave, the RPF personnel told them to board the train,” said Chavan.
The accused trio was angered, thinking that the victim’s family had informed the police. That’s when they contacted their accomplices, the other five accused who boarded the train at Karjat.
On Sunday, the GRP arrested eight people for their involvement in the attack.