Mumbai: Western Railway seeks strict guidelines from Railways after Vadodara mishap

Mumbai: A day after Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘Raees’ train promotion left a man dead at Vadodara station, the Western Railway (WR) today said it would approach the Railway Board for stringent guidelines to avoid repetition of such incidents even as it alleged that the film team did not apprise the authorities about their exact plan during the journey.

“We are going to approach the Railway Board seeking stringent guidelines to avoid repetition of such incidents in the future. Any journey or promotional journey which compromises smooth operations of the Railways will be dealtwith sternly. We are going to take all precautionary measures to avert these incidents,” Chief PRO of Western Railway Ravindra Bhakar told PTI.

Railway Board is the apex body which is vested with powers to oversee and manage the overall affairs of Indian Railways.

Bhakar also alleged that the actor’s team did not inform the Railways in toto about the promotional trip.

“We gave him permission to promote the film within the coach. We were not informed that the actor would be attracting a crowd through his tweets and would be throwing gifts at them. Had we been informed about all this by the crew managers, we would certainly not have given permission for the same,” Bhakar said.

“Had we known about the exact plan of the crew, had we known about the possible risk of stampede by an invitation to a crowd on the railway premises, then there was no question of giving them permission,” he added.

The Railway Ministry has ordered a probe into the incident, which has kicked up a row.

Farid Khan Pathan died of cardiac arrest as a massive crowd went berserk after Shah Rukh arrived at the Vadodara railway station on Monday night by August Kranti Rajdhani Express. He was accompanied by film’s producer Ritesh Sidhwani, Sunny Leone and director Rahul Dholakia.

Pathan was a local politician and the relative of a journalist, who was travelling in the same train with Shah Rukh.

Also, two policemen were injured as an estimated 15,000 people went out of control when the train halted in Vadodara and some of them started banging the window panes. Police had to resort to mild lathi-charge to control the situation.

Khan had boarded the train from Mumbai Central for Delhi as part of his promotional campaign ‘Raees by Rail’.

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