New Delhi: A shocking incident unfolded on the Jaipur-Mumbai Central Superfast Express as an RPF Soldier, identified as Chetan Singh, allegedly murdered four people on the train. The Railway Ministry has taken swift action and sent him for a mental health assessment. Authorities have categorically denied any communal angle to the killings.
Meanwhile, an attendant posted in the B5 coach of the Jaipur-Mumbai Central Superfast Express has poured conflicting information. The attendant, identified as 41-year-old Krishna Kumar Shukla, has been working on a contractual basis since past 12 years.
Eyewitness account of the incident
According to Shukla, a frequent traveler from Madhya Pradesh, he had witnessed an incident where a passenger and a ticket checker were engaged in a fight, and he saw Chetan Singh resolve the dispute amicably. This led Shukla to believe that the person was a good man.
During the journey, a few stations after Bhavani Mandi, Shukla ordered tea for Bhanpurwala and others. Later that night, Shukla was requested by a cleaning staff supervisor to swap berths as he was feeling unwell. Obliging the request, Shukla shifted from his original berth in the bedsheets storage compartment in B5 to B6.
While sleeping in B6, Shukla was awakened by sounds resembling firecrackers or a short circuit. Thinking the noise was coming from B5, he went to investigate. To his horror, he discovered ASI Meena lying in a pool of blood with Singh standing nearby, holding a gun. Singh appeared to be gazing towards B4 coach.
Although Shukla could only see Singh’s back, his demeanor reminded him of Ajmal Kasab, a notorious terrorist. The terrifying situation left Shukla and the other passengers in B6 scared and shaken.
Attempting to secure themselves, the passengers in B6 tried to close the door separating the compartments, but it got stuck. Singh briefly moved inside B5 before returning to the door and standing near the storage doorway, a little distance away from Meena’s body. Seizing an opportunity, some of the passengers managed to force the door shut, but they could still see Singh through the glass pane.
After standing there for five minutes, Singh eventually moved towards B4 coach and did not return. This prompted Shukla to immediately contact an RPF official to report the firing incident. The RPF official then informed RPF constable Aman Acharya, who was on duty on the train, about the situation.
When Acharya contacted Shukla and asked him to come towards S6 compartment, Shukla expressed fear and refused to comply. Only when the train reached Borivali station were the other passengers in B6 allowed to leave. It was at this point that Shukla witnessed the covered bodies of the victims, and he felt fortunate to have moved to compartment B6 and escaped the tragedy in B5.
Accused RPF soldier presented in court
Chetan Singh was presented before a court in Borivali, Mumbai, on Tuesday. The police requested a 14-day remand, but the court granted a 7-day custody. Investigations are underway to understand the motive behind the gruesome act.
Railways to undertake mental health assessment
The Railway Ministry is not taking any chances and has ordered a mental health assessment of the accused RPF soldier, Chetan Singh. Ministry sources have refuted any communal angle and highlighted that Chetan Singh had allegedly shot several people, including his senior officer, on the train.
Accused confesses to killing four people
Meanwhile, accused Chetan Singh, a 33-year-old RPF soldier, reportedly confessed to murdering his senior officer and three other passengers on the Jaipur-Mumbai Central Superfast Express. He was apprehended while attempting to flee the scene. The victims were identified as Abbas Sheikh (48) and Abdul Kadarbhai Mohammad Hussain Bhanpurawala (62), besides the senior officer, Tikaram Meena.
Ensuring safety measures in long-distance trains
Long-distance trains, including the Jaipur-Mumbai Central Superfast Express, usually have RPF escorts for the security of passengers and cargo. Among the four RPF personnel on the train, Chetan Singh and Tikaram Meena were part of the escort team. Witnesses claim that Chetan Singh appeared agitated before the incident. After shooting his senior, he continued to shoot three other passengers before attempting to escape.
The authorities are conducting a thorough investigation to understand the underlying reasons behind this tragic incident. Meanwhile, the mental health assessment will provide critical insights into the accused’s state of mind at the time of the crime.