Foreign national jumps on railway tracks from Delhi bridge

February 16th, 2008 - 8:55 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Feb 16 (IANS) A foreign national, possibly from Japan, was battling for life Friday evening after he jumped from a railway overbridge on to the tracks in the Chanakyapuri diplomatic area here though police and fire service personnel tried to dissuade him. The man, in his early 20s and yet to be identified, was admitted to the Safdarjung Hospital with grievous head injuries and multiple fractures. He was wearing a green shirt and jeans.

“He is a foreign national and we are trying to ascertain his identity. From his appearance he looks like a Japanese national and we have called an interpreter to record his statement,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (Southwest Delhi) Shalini Singh told IANS.

The incident occurred around 4.15 p.m. when the man, reported to be in an intoxicated state, jumped on the railway tracks from a height of nearly 20-25 feet after giving a slip to the police and fire service officials who form over 45 minutes tried to overpower him.

The man was first spotted walking on the railing of the overbridge by Rohit Dhaiya who was on his way to Connaught Place from his R.K. Puram home on a two-wheeler around 3.30 p.m.

“I and other people gathered nearby tried to dissuade him but he didn’t listen to anyone. We even threatened to report the matter to the police. He just gestured, asking us to go away or else he would jump,” Dhaiya, a software professional, told IANS.

“He then threw some money at an old woman. I called the police control room (PCR) and left the area as I was getting late for my urgent work,” Dhaiya said.

In between, three trains had passed by down below but the man sat quietly on the bridge railing, taking support of an advertisement hoarding, Dhaiya added.

Anil Kumar, who was also there, said four PCR vans and a fire brigade tender arrived at the spot one after another within 10 minutes.

“The policemen made all possible efforts to get him down but it was evident that the two sides couldn’t communicate properly due to the language barrier. The policemen failed to catch him due to the large hoarding blocking their way,” Kumar said.

“When the policemen tried to reach the man from both sides of the railing, he stood up and threatened to jump. The policemen had no option to just wait there. Fire officials also failed to reach near him,” Kumar said.

In the meantime, the policemen in coordination with railway officials halted the railway traffic at the point for nearly 20 minutes.

Shashi Kant Sharma, another eyewitness, said: “The policemen were afraid that he might pull them down along with him. But when three officials finally managed to partially catch him, he slipped from their clutches and fell on to the tracks.”

Witnesses said the incident could have been averted had senior officials come and talked to the man.

Soon after the incident, a large mass of curious onlookers gathered at the spot causing traffic snarls.

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