12, including 9 policemen, injured as commuters go berserk

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Mumbai, Dec 29 (UNI) Twelve persons, including nine policemen, were injured when commuters at Kalwa Railway Station on the Central Railway, resorted to stone-pelting during a spontaneous 'Rail Roko' agitation.

As the mob went out of control, police resorted to a lathicharge to disperse the commuters, who stood in front of the train in protest against the erratic rake scheduling, a senior Thane Police official said today.

Ten commuters, including eight women, were arrested for the 'Rail Roko' and trespassing on government property and were later released on bail, the official added.

The problem started when 0904 Kalyan 30-up semi fast local arrived at the station with a nine-car rake instead of the scheduled 12 car rake, following which thousands of commuters, mostly women blocked the services for several hours. As the services were affected for more than two hours, police warned them and when the warning proved to be ineffective, they resorted to lathicharge.

Mumbai Rail Pravasi Sangh, a local commuters organisation, while terming the police action as uncalled for, demanded a thorough probe in the whole matter.

''We condemn the brutal police action against the commuters, who were exercising their democratic right in a peaceful manner. The rake that arrived at that time was of 9 car, while the display board at the station was showing it to be a 12-car rake. And this has not happened for the first time. We have been telling the authorities to put the system in place, but to no avail,'' Madhu Katiyan, President of Mumbai Rail Sangh said.


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