Railway employee detained for threatening Ayodhya pilgrims, later released on bail

A railway employee, identified as 58-year-old ex-serviceman Sheik Sab, was apprehended by Railway Police at Hospet Railway Station on Thursday for allegedly threatening pilgrims returning from Ayodhya. Superintendent of Police (Railways) Soumya Latha S.K. stated that the accused, currently employed with the Railways, was arrested and later released on bail.

According to Railway Police information, Sheik Sab encountered Ayodhya pilgrims chanting slogans as he passed by Ayodhya Dham – Mysuru Junction Astha Express en route to his train bound for Hubballi. Perturbed by the “disturbance to other passengers,” the employee objected to the pilgrims’ slogans, leading to a heated exchange of arguments.

The pilgrims claimed that the accused not only objected but also threatened them, prompting a protest at the railway station. Local right-wing activists and BJP leaders joined the protest as news spread. The accused, identified as Sheikshawali Saheb, a technician in the Hubballi railway zone, was taken into custody by the police. Saheb admitted to his actions, attributing it to a mistake and claiming he was in a hurry to report to duty.

Upon boarding the Ayodhya train, Saheb allegedly engaged in an argument with passengers, threatening to set fire to the train. Passengers detained Saheb and handed him over to the police. Ballari Railway Police filed a First Information Report (FIR) on the same day.

Vijayanagara Superintendent of Police Srihari Babu B.L. and other senior officers rushed to the scene to assist Railway Police in controlling the situation. The incident caused a delay of about one-and-a-half hours for the train.

“The entire incident occurred on the railway platform, falling under the jurisdiction of the Railway Police. We can only assist the Railway Police in such situations,” said Mr. Babu. “The accused, an ex-serviceman currently employed in the Railways, attempted to board a Hubballi-bound train on Platform No 2. Instead of using the railway over-bridge, he crossed the track by Ayodhya Dham-Mysuru Junction Astha Express on Platform No 1, encountering the pilgrims,” Ms. Latha explained.

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