Virar train passengers get back what they sow, faces bullying in Dahanu local

Mumbai, October 21: Virar commuters are well known for their unruly behaviour towards their counterparts from Borivli. This is the old story. Now they also came to know the bitter taste of their character on Wednesday night, when commuters of a Dahanu-bound train objected to their alighting at Virar, reports

After getting complaints from the Virar commuters, on Wednesday, the Virar Railway Protection Force (RPF) raided the newly introduced Churchgate-Dahanu train on platform 3 at Virar at 9.50pm. Due to the raid, the commuters were forced to travel up to Vaitarna station.

The RPF arrested 14 men, all residents of Palghar, and fined them Rs 1,000-2,000. Police said as the men were preventing Virar commuters from alighting, they had to barge into the train and arrest them. A video of the uniformed cops using their batons and dragging commuters out of the train later went viral.

 They were booked under sections 141 (needlessly interfering with means of communication in a train), 145 (nuisance), 146 (obstructing railway servant in his duties). The arrested men were released by 1 AM. While 10 of them took a private vehicle and got home early on Thursday, the remaining four stayed at their relatives’ homes in Vasai-Virar. Nikhil Dixit (22), a student who was among those arrested said he was simply standing near the footboard when the cops pulled him out and charged him.

Over the years, commuters travelling between Andheri to Borivli have complained of high-handedness when they alight at their stations from a Virar-bound train. In fact, as several Virar trains originate at Borivli, commuters wanting to alight at Goregaon, Malad and Kandivli (in a Borivli-bound train) are often blocked by Virar commuters.

Police said complaints of Palghar and Dahanu-bound commuters preventing others from alighting at Virar were pouring in since the ChurchgateDahanu train was introduced on October 10. It leaves Churchgate at 8.27pm, reaches Borivli at 9.15pm and in Virar at 9.50pm. There are seven stations between Virar and Dahanu. The train was introduced after the timing of Saurashtra Mail, which was used by commuters heading beyond Virar, was advanced by an hour. Palghar and Dahanu commuters, who would board this train at Borivli at 9.15pm, now board the local train. The next long-distance train from Virar towards Dahanu arrives at 10.50 pm in Virar.

However, commuters travelling beyond Virar say local and long-distance trains should not halt at Virar. “The Dahanu-bound local should be fast from Borivli. There are many trains for Virar,” said Mukul Sinha, a daily Palghar commuter. The Dahanu-bound locals halt at Bhayander, Vasai and Virar.