A Shiv Sena MLA in Maharashtra held up a train for nearly an hour on Wednesday night because he was allotted a side berth.
According to a report in Mumbai Mirror, the train, Debgiri Express, which was carrying nearly 2,000 passengers, was held up because the MLA from Nanded, Hemant Patil, refused to accept the ‘side’ seat in the 2nd AC coach.
His supporters kept pulling the chain to ensure the train didn’t move out of the platform.
The train was scheduled to leave Mumbai’s CST station at 9.10 pm but could only leave after 10 pm.
The delay had knock-on effect on other long-distance trains, namely CST-Mangalore Express and the Siddheshwar Express (to Solapur) by more than 15 minutes. Four fast local trains were also held up causing a crowd of more than 1,000 people at the platforms.
General manager, Central Railway, Sunil Kumar, has promised to institute an inquiry into the incident.
He said, “The chain of the Devgiri Express was pulled by some passengers, delaying the train for over an hour. We will inquire into what exactly transpired.”
Sena spokesperson and legislator Neelam Gorhe declined to comment on the incident, saying, “Whatever Patil may have done was in his personal capacity. How can I react to this as a party spokesperson?”
There’s usually a penalty for anybody pulling the chain to halt the train without a valid reason. Surprised over the Sena MLA being let off, Aslam Shaikh, from Aurangabad, a passenger on the train, said, “If a regular passenger had made such a scene, he would have been hauled off to jail. Why are elected representatives allowed to get away with such behaviour?”
Another passenger, Suhas Patil, from Nanded, was quoted by Mumbai Mirror as saying, “Is there no law for these people? Are all laws only for the common man?”
A special 2nd AC coach was added to the packed Devgiri Express, to accommodate the VIPs departing for their respective constituencies after the assembly session had ended.