The term ‘anti-national’ has found its way into one of the official press releases issued by the Indian Railways. Pune’s Divisional Railway Manager B K Dadabhoy used it to describe the actions of three women, whose only offence was being part of a protest group that held a train for 45 minutes.
On Monday morning, around 100 people participated in a protest demanding the Railway authorities to operate the Deccan Queen from platform number one, as has been the case for several decades until recently. Now, the train departs from platform number five due to “operational compulsions”. This has upset the Queen’s regular passengers, and they have been demanding that it depart from Platform No. 1, like in the old days.
The protesters resorted to pulling the chain in their bid to stop the train from leaving the platform. The Railway Protection Force (RPF) identified three women, all of them government servants aged between 50 to 55, travelling to Mumbai from Pune every weekday for work, and produced them before a magistrate.
“Such anti-national activities won’t be tolerated at any cost and action would be initiated as per legal provisions. The commuters are requested not to take law in their own hands and co-operate with the administration in seamless plying of the trains,” Dadabhoy was quoted as saying in a press note issued through the public relations office of Pune Division.