After the uproar over the arrest of a train hawker whose video mocking politicians, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, went viral, the Railways on Monday said there was no connection between the arrest of Avdhesh Dubey and his viral video as seven more persons were arrested along with him from Surat railway station on Friday as part of a drive against illegal hawkers. Moreover, he was an habitual offender, Railways said.
On Friday, 30-year-old Dubey was convicted by a mobile railway court and sentenced to 10-day simple imprisonment for selling articles on trains without licence, committing nuisance or using abusive or obscene language, unlawful entry among others.
According to railway officials, Dubey was a “repeat offender” and caught for the twelfth time on Friday for selling items without licence. A release issued by the Railway Ministry said, “The railway magistrate verified the past record of the defaulter (Dubey) and came to know about his repeated offence under section 144 RA (illegal licence) — twelfth time including this time.” The Railways’ release also said that Dubey had confessed to unauthorised hawking since 2005.
“It was our regular and ongoing drive on Friday to catch those violators like passengers, hawkers and vendors. We catch those crossing the railway tracks, hiding themselves from ticket checkers at platforms, unauthorised vendors selling water bottles, snacks on station and also those who climbed inside train and sell eatery items and toys and other items. All the arrested ones were produced before the court. Dubey was arrested under Railway Act sections 144(A), 145 (B), and 147, while others were arrested in other sections,” RPF Inspector Ishwar Singh Yadav told The Indian Express.
Sources said that when Dubey was produced before Railway Court of Magistrate Arun Puri on Friday, he had confessed to illegal hawking. While, Dubey was sent to ten days of judicial custody, other accused arrested by the RPF were released.
On Monday, Dubey’s lawyer sought a stay from the railway court on his sentence and applied for his bail in the sessions court.
For the last few days, a six-minute-long video purportedly showing Dubey doing a parody of a host of politicians like PM Modi, Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, while selling toys to the passengers on a train had gone viral on several social media platforms.
He is an ardent Modi fan, Has no malice towards anyone: Uncle
Avdhesh Dubey, who has been arrested by Railway Protection Force (RPF) for illegal hawking, is a diehard fan of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, according to his uncle Manish Mishra.
Mishra, who came to Surat from Valsad to file a plea for Dubey’s early release, said, “Avdhesh is a very lovable boy and he has inbuilt knack of giving witty responses. He makes fun of people without insulting them. He is diehard fan of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”
Notably, Dubey was arrested after a six-minute video of him doing a parody of a host of politicians like PM Modi had gone viral.
According to his uncle, 30-year-old Dubey is the sole earner in his family, which comprises his ill mother, wife, young children — 7-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter, and two young brothers, aged 19 and 16.
“Avdhesh migrated to Valsad with his parents around 25 years ago from Varanasi in UP after I moved here… He did not choose his father’s profession of driving auto. In fact, he was very much attached to me and chose to sell toys to people on trains like me,” said Mishra, adding that he is outspoken but has no malice towards anyone.