A Railway Protection Force (RPF) constable shot dead four people, including an RPF Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI), on board a train near the Palghar railway station in Maharashtra, on Monday.
The constable on escort duty, identified as Chetan Singh, 33, fired 12 rounds from his automatic service rifle, first killing his senior, ASI Tikaram Meena (57). He then shot three passengers on board the Jaipur-Mumbai Central Superfast Express, around 5 AM. Of the passengers, authorities identified two of the victims as Asgar Abbas Ali (48) and Abdul Kadar Mohamed Hussain Bhanpurwala (64).
They are ascertaining the identity of the third passenger. Each long-distance train is accompanied by an armed four-member RPF team. An escort team comprising ASI Meena, constables Singh, Amay and head constable Narendra Parmar was on board the Jaipur-Mumbai Central Superfast at the time of the incident.
Government Railway Police and RPF officials caught up with Singh while he was trying to escape after the train halted near Mira Road Railway Station.
“In an unfortunate incident in Jaipur – Mumbai Superfast Express police constable shot at his colleague ASI Tika Ram. The reason for this is not established yet. Further investigation is on,” ANI quoted Western Railway CPRO as saying. Videos of the incident are making rounds on Twitter.
According to PTI, a senior Railway official claimed that Singh had temper issues and he was indisposed on the day of the incident.
Anger issues only otherwise nothing wrong with him; was a loner but a nice family man; he cared for his team, team mates and would do anything for them – expect stories like this tomorrow in a manner to whitewash this terror attack.
— Chinmayi Sripaada (@Chinmayi) July 31, 2023
Netizens on Twitter are reacting to reports that Singh was mentally unstable, arguing that the true motive behind the incident is being brushed aside.
According to reports, RPF constable Singh also passed through four coaches on the train before shooting his victims. Moreover, there is considerable questioning surrounding why an allegedly mentally unstable man was on duty to begin with, prompting serious scrutiny of the system in place.
One really can be both! .. insane and a rabid bigot- if it was pure insanity – Chetan Singh would not have crossed 4 coaches looking for victims to shoot- also RPF needs to answer – why was a weapon given to a mentally unstable man with a medical record ?
— Preeti Choudhry (@PreetiChoudhry) August 1, 2023
Meanwhile, the Western Railway CPRO has announced an ex gratia of Rs 25 lakh for the kin of deceased ASI Meena. According to Midday, Meena’s kin will receive Rs 15 lakh from the Railway Suraksha Kalyan Nidhi (fund), apart from funeral expenses of Rs 20,000. His kin will also get a sum from the death-cum-retirement gratuity and group insurance scheme.