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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Chilling video of youth going under CR local during stunt surfaces online

As yet another video of a train stunt going awry has gone viral, the Railway Protection Force (RPF) has decided to intensify drives against the menace. Till April, the RPF recorded 618 cases on the Western line and 2021 on the Central line of footboard and rooftop travellers, most being instances of commuters attempting stunts.

"We have made several attempts of creating awareness among youths, as those nabbed are mostly aged between 15 and 25 years. We have been holding lectures in schools and colleges about the dangers of performing stunts.
But as the practice has not stopped, we will form teams and start surprise checks on locals," said Rajendra Rupnawar, senior divisional security commissioner, RPF (WR).

The latest video that has gone viral on phone messaging services and the web shows a footboard traveller leaning out and trying different stunts even as the train starts to pick up speed. His friends shoot the video from an adjacent compartment and egg him on. Before the train leaves the station, the youth slips straight into the gap between the rake and the platform. His fate is not known yet.

"The location, where the stunt was performed in this video, is not clear. We are making all possible efforts from our side, but ultimately it is society's collective responsibility in an open rail system to prevent loss of lives. Closed-door trains could be an effective remedy . But how that would affect train operations and whether such a large volume of passengers will allow closure of doors, if introduced, is a point of debate," said Alok Bohra, senior divisional security commissioner, RPF (CR). When commuters travelling early in the morning started complaining of harassment from stunt performers on WR, the Mumbai Central GRP started a once-a-week drive a year ago. This was done on Tuesdays as most of these offenders were returnees from a Dadarbased temple. "We have nabbed nearly 500 people in a year. Summoning their parents and showing both of them videos of previous instances of stunts, where people have lost limbs or life, ensure that they do not repeat the act. We have only had one repeat offender so far," said senior inspector Rajendra Trivedi, Mumbai Central GRP .

The RPF will attempt to verify who shot the stunt video as well as identify the location where it has been shot. "Men seeking such thrills need counselling. Stunt performers need to seriously think of personal safety before taking the plunge," said an official. Doctors said there are chances of acute vertigo, rise in heart rate and blood pressure imbalance, besides the risk of head injury and multiple fractures among stunt performers. On being caught performing stunts or travelling on the rooftop of a train, a commuter can be booked under section 154 of the Railway Act. The offence is punishable with imprisonment for a term that may extend up to one year in prison, or with a fine, or both.


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