The guard of a Mumbai-bound train was killed after a passenger, who was travelling without a ticket, allegedly pushed him off the moving train near Bhachau town of Kutch district late on Thursday evening, police said.
Police added that the accused, identified as Anuj Kushwaha (22) from Jaisinghnagar in Madhya Pradesh, had been arrested.
Gujarat railway police officers said that the incident took place between 6 pm and 7 pm on Thursday. The train guard was identified as Shriprakashrao Patirao Gautam (58), a resident of Railway Colony in Gandhidham town of Kutch district. His body was recovered from the railway track between Bhimasar and Chirai villages near Bhachau.
“Bhachau railway station master Kishan Kumar alerted us around 7 pm that a body had been spotted on tracks between Bhimasar and Chirai at kilometres 880/8. Bhachau station master had in turn been informed by a loco pilot of a goods train. The express train was halted at Bhachau and a police team rushed to the spot. The guard had succumbed to his injuries when the police reached the spot,” Sub-inspector (SI) Vasant Kumar Vansola, In-charge of Gandhidham Railway police station told The Indian Express on Friday.
Police added that the guard was killed during an altercation with the passenger who was illegally riding the express train on its way from Bhuj to Dadar in Mumbai. “The guard confronted him and an altercation ensued, during which the accused pushed him off the moving train, killing him on the spot,” Vansola said.
“After the train was halted at Bhachau, Kushwaha tried to run away. But he was chased by the railway police. He also injured a couple of police constables in the process. However, he was overpowered and detained. He has confessed to having killed the guard by pushing him off the moving train,” the SI added.
Police said that they had booked Kushwaha for the murder of the train guard.
Vansola further said glasses of the guard’s cabin and other articles were found broken, suggesting a fight had taken place there. “We are awaiting the post-mortem report to know the exact cause of the guard’s death,” Vansola said.
Meanwhile, Western Railway Employees Union (WREU) demanded that train crew guards be provided with VHF connectivity with the Railway Police Force personnel escorting trains. “In incidents like this or situation of any other emergency, we demand that that they (crew guards) should be extended the facility of establishing contact with the No.11 frequency of VHF sets, being carried by RPF staff escorting mail, express and superfast trains,” Sanjay Suryabali, divisional organisational secretary of WREU, Ahmedabad, demanded in a memorandum submitted to the Divisional Railway Manager of Ahmedabad.
Gandhidham falls in Ahmedabad division of Westen Railway.
The WREU added that the crew guard of Bhuj-Dadar train would have been able to raise an alarm and even be alive had he had the facility of contacting the RPF personnel.
The murder the of guard near Bhuj comes around five months after former BJP MLA Jayanti Bhanushali was shot dead on board a moving train at Samakhiyali near Bhachau on the same route in January.
Bhanushali was shot dead by two sharp-shooters on board Sayaji Nagari Express train on its way from Bhuj to Dadar.
Police investigation has revealed that fellow BJP leader Chhabil Patel had given contract to sharpshooters from Pune to kill Bhanushali over political rivalry.