North Indians attacked, looted in train in Maharashtra

April 5th, 2008 - 7:59 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Raj Thackeray

Mumbai, April 5 (IANS) Four people, travelling to Goa in search of work, were beaten up, looted and locked inside a toilet of a running train in Maharashtra after being identified as north Indians, a railway official said here Saturday.
The shocking incident took place Tuesday night on the Konkan Kanya Express, which runs between Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in south Mumbai and Margoa in Goa.

“The victims were from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and were going to Margao to find jobs in a steel plant. They were travelling in the general compartment of the Konkan Kanya Express from Thane,” Konkan Railway spokesperson Vaishali Patange said Saturday.

After the train crossed the Panvel station late Tuesday night, a scramble for seats turned into a heated debate. A group of men then started asking the passengers which state they hailed from.

“After identifying the four - Ghanshyam Ramjiyavan Saroj, Raghunath Kamla Singh, Nandlal and Dabbu - as north Indians, they beat them up, looted them, and locked them inside a toilet in the running train,” Patange said.

In their complaint to the Government Railway Police (GPR), the four men said the unruly group abused them, saying they weren’t getting jobs because of migrants like them.

Patange said security on trains had been stepped up following the incident.

“We have also asked the Central Railway GRP to accompany passengers till the Mangaon station on the Konkan Railway route after which our Konkan Railway GRP will take over for the rest of the journey till Goa,” she added.

The attackers have not been identified and no arrests have been made so far, she said.

A case of extortion, rioting, wrongful confinement, causing hurt, and unlawful assembly was registered against the unidentified group.

In February, members of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) led by Raj Thackeray took to the streets targeting north Indians in Mumbai and elsewhere in the state. One person died and several were injured in the vandalism that went on for several days before the state government got the situation under control.

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