The Railway Protection Force (RPF) arrested Abdul Wahid Shaikh (28) at CST for allegedly setting toilets of four trains on fire on April 30 and May 4. The accused has been booked under various sections of the Railways Act and sent to 5-day RPF custody.
Shaikh, described as a drug addict by the RPF, was caught in Nandigram Express at CST on Tuesday afternoon. The RPF has sought the help of city police, as well as approached the Anti-Terrorism Squad, to check if the accused has a history of crime.
The RPF had been on a lookout for him after he was spotted on all closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras on April 30, when he had set fire to four toilets of three trains in an hour. On May 4, he was again seen entering Sevagram Express stationed at CST, minutes before the departure of the train at 3 pm. There was fire reported in the toilets of three sleeper class coaches and one general class coach of the train.
“The drug addict appears to be enjoying the panic created at the station. The RPF is investigating why he was setting the coaches on fire,” said a railway official. “Further investigation is on,” said Alok Bohra, senior divisional security commissioner, RPF (Mumbai division), CR.
Four incidents of fire were reported from Deccan Queen, Sahayadri Express and Kolkata Howrah Mail between 5 pm and 6.10 pm on April 30. This was followed by a fire in the toilets of Sevagram Express on May 4.
While no passenger was injured in any of the fires, a sudden panic was created at the station and all the four trains were delayed. Earlier, senior railway officers had speculated on the possibility of sabotage as the fire occurred only in toilets, and in a similar manner.