A forty-year-old man died today after he was allegedly pushed off from a local train by a lady RPF constable in between Uttarpara and Hind Motor stations in the district, triggering massive protests and rail blockades along the Howrah-Bandel main line section.
Dipak Sharma (40), a resident of Dwarik Jungle Road in Bhadrakali, was travelling in the UP Howrah-Bandel Matribhumi Ladies' Special suburban local train this evening, when he was allegedly pushed off by an on-duty lady Railway Protection Force constable near the Amtala area, said Railway police officers.
Passengers of the train assaulted the lady constable once the train reached Hind Motor station at around 7.55 PM.
As news of Dipak's death spread in the area, angry residents joined the protests and blocked tracks. They also targeted two other trains and pelted stones, smashing window panes and damaging the coaches.
Senior officers of the Government Railway Police said a huge police force reached the area, but protesters also pelted stones at the personnel. The blockade was lifted after police resorted to cane charge.
However, a large number of people led by chairman of Uttarpara-Kotrang Municipality, Dilip Yadav reached Hind Motor station and again started agitating by blocking the tracks.
Yadav's supporters also blocked tracks and Uttarpara station. A section of passengers simultaneously blocked tracks at Belur station, leading to a total disruption of train services.
"Dipak was an employee of a private firm in Kolkata and was travelling along with his wife. They have a son. If he had done anything wrong or was travelling unauthorised in a ladies' coach, the RPF constable could have arrested him. Why did she push him off from a running train?" asked Dilip Yadav.
Chief Public Relations Officer of Eastern Railway R N Mahapatra said the Railways have identified the lady constable involved in the incident and she has been withdrawn from duty pending inquiry.
"An inquiry has been ordered into the incident. The first blockade was lifted at around 9 PM, but the second one continued till after 11 PM, leading to a pile up of both suburban and long distance services. Train services have now resumed," he said.
Meanwhile, a milk trader identified as Jung Bahadur Yadav, a resident of Bhadreshwar, died at Howrah station while waiting for train services to resume, railway officials said. Hundreds of commuters were stranded at several stations due to the disruption.