A youth who was recently selected in the Indian Army in January, was allegedly pushed off the Howrah Express by Railway Protection Force (RPF) cops at Jalandhar Cantonment station at 9am here on Tuesday.
Deceased Mukhtiyar Singh, 19, a resident of Ballarwal village in Amritsar, had come along with 16 army aspirants to help them in passing the physical fitness test at the army’s recruitment drive.
Part of a group of 17 friends who were returning from the recruitment camp in Ludhiana, which was postponed to March 31, Mukhtiyar and others were enjoying breakfast in the compartment reserved for physically challenged persons, when their train stopped at the station.
Mukhtiyar’s friends, including Sarwan Singh, Mangal Singh, Jasmail Singh, Baldev Singh and several others explained that as the recruitment drive was postponed to March 31, they were returning to Ajnala near Amritsar and had “mistakenly” entered the compartment of the train as they were hungry.
They alleged that RPF cops arrived and asked them to exit the bogey immediately and subsequently, in an altercation, they pushed Mukhtiyar onto the tracks, following which he was run over by another train.
Another youth, Kulwant Singh of the same village, was injured and is undergoing treatment at a private hospital.
After receiving information, senior police and administrative officials arrived at the civil hospital, where the body of the deceased was shifted.
Sub-divisional magistrate (SDM-2) Varinder Pal Bajwa, GRP superintendent of police (SP) Lakhwinder Pal Singh Khaira, assistant commissioner of police (ACP West) Ravinder Pal Singh Sandhu, inspector Paramjeet Singh and others arrived at the spot and pacified the agitating army aspirants.
RPF’s assistant sub-inspector Surinder Singh refuted the allegations of the youths and claimed that the deceased himself jumped from the bogey.
SP Khaira said a case under Section 304 (Punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 308 (Attempt to commit culpable homicide) had been registered against unidentified persons on the statement of deceased’s father Joga Singh.
He said after due investigation, RPF cops responsible for the incident would be identified and arrested as the youths had seen them.
Mukhtiyar had passed Class 12 last year and was selected for the Indian Army during a recruitment drive at Gurdaspur in January 2016. His family and friends said he was an inspiration for village youth and made a running track in the village to enable others to prepare for passing the physical fitness test. His father Joga Singh, a daily wager, said his son used to motivate other boys to join the army.