Senior citizen inappropriately detained at Khar

62-year old Mr Vijay Agarwal had to pay a price for a good deed on 5th February 2010. As per Mumbai Mirror report (18th Feb), he was DETAINED FOR FOUR HOURS at Khar station office. Allegedly, superintendent R K Meena behaved very rudely with him after he insisted on registering a complaint about a stall near the ticket counter. Worst, Mr Agarwal's pass was snatched and torn and 2 GRP guards were posted to 'watch' him. He was allowed to leave only after 11.30 pm!

On one hand, we the citizens are expected (and rightly so) to bring inappropriate things and unclaimed bags etc. to the notice of the officials. But on the other hand, if this is what we'd end up going through, won't people slowly get into the mode of 'let's mind our own business'? 

I think the railway officials who are otherwise pretty helpful and trustworthy, should get a lesson or two on being polite and not harassing the ones who are trying to make things better.

Here's an incident I'd want to talk about at this moment:

I boarded a first class compartment from Parel to Kurla once. As usual, there were these two women and a teenage girl who boarded the compartment. It appeared that they boarded the first class compartment 'by mistake'. They themselves had admitted. We politely advised them to shift to the compartment that's just next door at the next station to avoid the fine the TC will collect from them if they are caught.

Not to say they might have been the regular offenders as they said "Don't interfere, we'll see if the TC comes... you have no right etc etc".

Now this one teenage girl got off with me at Kurla and happened to board the train to Panvel that even I got into. The train wasn't crowded at that hour, yet she did board the first class along with me.

I gave her a look knowing that arguing won't help in any case. But she comfortably sat near the door, eating something and throwing the wrappers outside. Now littering is something I just can't stand, but since I was a little unwell and other ladies umpteen attempts to ask her to shift to the other compartment or at least not block the way failed, I preferred to keep quiet.

But the worse was still to come. Infuriated as I already was, more because of her littering and attitude, as soon as the train halted at Vashi I was pleased to see female ticket checker all set to do her 'duty'. Now I was in hurry as I had to board a Thane train that was just about to leave from another platform. I hurriedly and optimistically told the TC about the girl who was travelling without ticket. I requested her if she could get into the compartment and check her ticket. But perhaps the TC thought she can earn a fine from me if I don't have a valid ticket since that girl was in no condition to pay the fine amount in any case. Even after my repeated requested within a span of a few seconds to nab the real offender, the TC behaved very rudely with me as if I had committed a crime. "We know our job, we'll see what to do, you just show your pass to us" was all that she said in a very insulting tone. RESULT - the train left with the girl and the TC never bothered to board it. The offender enjoyed her trip and I felt terribly insulted and shocked.

You think I'd ever again inform any TC if I am aware of any ticketless passenger? Not even in my dreams!

I wonder if these TCs have a deal with such shameless travelers. Obviously, she must have been a hawker taking the same path daily.