Ticket examiner not at fault: Central Railway

Statement says “CCTV footage indicates that the conductor was helping her”.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai | Published:May 31, 2014 2:08 am
Mumbai TTE Sujata and Snehal, daughters of TTE Sampat Salunkhe, at CST on Friday. (Source: Vasant Prabhu)

Relying on CCTV footage at Jalgaon railway station, where a woman commuter was killed Thursday, the Central Railway has issued a statement explaining the travelling ticket examiner (TTE) was ‘not at fault’. The official statement says the “footage indicates that the conductor was helping her. Unfortunately, she fell down and got run over by the train.”

TTE Sampat Salunkhe (57) was arrested in Jalgaon on charges of causing the death of Ujwala Nilesh Pandey (35) after she fell under Lokmanya Tilak Terminus-Rajendranagar Express while trying to board it.

The victim’s nephew Rahul Purohit, who had accompanied her to the platform, had alleged that the TTE in the train ‘pushed’ her, after which the Railway Police arrested Salunkhe.

The CCTV footage from platform three where the train arrived at 5.47 am has captured the fateful minutes before and when Pandey slipped into the platform gap. It is expected to be taken as crucial material evidence by Bhusaval railway police. Salunkhe was granted bail Friday after being produced in a Jalgaon court.

“He told us that he urged Ujjwala Pandya to grab his hand. She instead tried to pull herself up. She slipped and fell in the gap,” said inspector Kalappa Pujari.

While Pujari said that prima facie Salunkhe did not appear to have consumed alcohol, the police would wait for a medical report of his blood alcohol level.

Pujari said a request had been made to the railways for the reservation chart of the coach where the incident occurred. “The nephew of the woman alleged that the on-duty conductor of the train pushed the lady, which is not correct,” the CR statement read.

Detailing the sequence of the events, it says Pandey’s two daughters boarded the running train first, and when the “woman tried to board the running train she fell and got run over”.

The railway administration has also denied that the TTE was drunk stating that the on-spot breath analysis test conducted on him was negative. “It is also seen that the woman had sufficient time to board the train,” reads the statement.

The CCTV footage, shows Pandey, and her two daughters following Rahul Purohit, as they rush to catch the waiting train. Rahul is seen getting ahead of the three and then grabbing a seat on the platform, waiting for others to catch up with him.

The children then walk ahead, while Ujwala Pandey is seen walking hurriedly towards the TTE. Just as she is about to reach him, the CCTV footage shows the train starting for its onward journey, with the TTE entering the coach. The children are seen running to catch the coach. The nephew Rahul rushes towards the children and helps them board the train.

Ujwala is seen following them to catch the train with a bag in hand. The footage, with insufficient clarity, shows the TTE extending his hand, and in seconds, Ujwala can be seen slipping down into the gap. The Railways have said they will wait for the police probe to be completed.

mumbai.newsline@expressindia.com

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