Mumbai : Four people die on the tracks in Mumbai every day but even seasoned commuters were not prepared for what they saw at Kalyan station on Sunday night.
“A dazed man was lying under the first compartment. Six to seven constables of the government railway police (GRP) were standing around the engine and laughing over something,’’ said Satyajit Verma, who was travelling in the CST-bound train which reached Kalyan around 10 pm.
Verma, Arjun Koli and Sandeep Jaiswal, all members of the Aam Admi Party, were on the local train, which halted for an unusually long time at Kalyan. When they stepped out to inquire, they came across the bizarre sight of the constables laughing even as life was ebbing out of an accident victim.
“When we asked them why they were not rescuing the victim, one of the constables said, `Let him die. Anyway, he is blind and now, he has lost a leg,’’’ said Verma.
Verma then told them to inform the station master’s office about the accident and to ensure that the train would not move while the accident victim was being rescued. The cops refused to do this, saying this was not their duty. So, Verma had to do it himself.
By this time, Verma and his associates had started yelling at the insensitive policemen and commuters had started gathering around them.
According to the high court order in the case related to accident victims, the railway must arrange for an ambulance within five to 10 minutes. “The station master must also provide the victim with first aid and stretcher,’’ said Sameer Zaveri, who has turned an activist for safety on the railways after losing both legs in a train accident.
When this correspondent spoke over the phone to one of the constables, identified as Rajput, he denied that they were insensitive. Asked why Verma and his associates had to extricate the man from under the train, he said, “We were busy managing the crowd.’’
Verma said the constables even refused to call for a stretcher. “They did so only after we yelled at them and the crowd heard it,’’ he said. The `stretcher hamaal’ who is supposed to pick up accident victims arrived with the stretcher but refused to touch the body.
The samaritans asked for an ambulance but the cops said there was no ambulance as the station master was absent. Constable Rajput later told this correspondent, “Even if the station master was there, he would not have called for an ambulance because he is never reimbursed for it.’’
Finally, the samaritans put the victim and his dismembered leg in a cab and took him to Rukminibai hospital at Kalyan, where he was given first aid.
Dr Shashank of Rukminibai municipal hospital said, “Due to the delay of one hour, the victim had lost a lot of blood. He was unconscious and had a skull fracture apart from the loss of his left leg.’’
Dr Shashank advised Verma to take the victim to a hospital with better facilities but constable Rajput, who accompanied the samaritans, said they would have to go to a public hospital only. So, the victim was taken in an ambulance to Sion hospital, an hour away. Paperwork to get an ambulance took an hour, said Verma. Avinash Supe, dean of Sion Hospital, said that the victim, who is still unidentified, is still very critical. “ There has been traumatic amputation from his left lower knee. His blood pressure is very low and the CT scan reports say that he is bleeding from the liver and spleen,’’ said Supe. The reasons of the accident is still not clear as the victim is unconscious. According to constable Rajput, the blind man was pushed to a corner by the crowd of commuters as he came down stairs and he must have eventually fallen down the edge of the platform. Senior police inspector A R Jagtap of the Government Railway Police, Kalyan, said he would look into the matter. However, he said, “During peak hours our on duty officers are always in alert mode to provide help to such victims.’’