State of the nation: Mumbai Airport staffer thrashed because his luggage said 'BOM'
Photo: Wikimedia

Train announcements asking people to report suspicious behaviour or unattended bags has now become commonplace. As as the announcer says, "it is possible that it may be an explosive".

And while it is always good to remain alert and aware of your surroundings, perhaps a closer look might be warranted at times.

In case you're confused, let us explain further.

A 32-year old man was thrashed by his co-passengers aboard the Mumbai-bound Kandesh Express on suspicion of being a terrorist. One of the key reasons they turned on him was the fact that his bags bore the tag 'BOM'. Now, as most of us probably already know, 'BOM' is the airport tag associated with Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport. The unwitting passengers however thought that he was transporting explosives.

And while we can't stress enough on the fact that one should be pulled up in case there are suspicious circumstances, at tihe same time, we don't think anyone would label a bag of explosives with the word 'bomb' -- what with that defeating the purpose and all.

Nonetheless, the man identified by an Indian Express report as Ganesh Shinde was beaten up as he was travelling in the general compartment of the train at around 11:35 pm.

Now, to be fair it was not just the luggage tags that had roused people's suspicion, although that was the tipping point. According to the Indian Express report, Shinde had had a scribbled map in his luggage. He had also expressed his desire to show a fellow passenger something on the “recipe to make a bomb”.

And while his co-passenger did not grow immediately suspicious, he raised the alarm when Shinde sought his mobile number. It was at this point that the other passengers discovered the 'BOM' on his luggage.

He was eventually handed over to the police when the train halted at Bardoli railway station. The train departed late after a thorough check for explosives.

Shinde reportedly claimed that he had the tag as he worked at the airport as a utility van driver. An RPF officer explained that the map, according to Shinde, was plotting the route of the char dhaam yatra. He had apparently drawn it to explain the route to a friend.

Another bomb scare took place aboard the New Delhi-Dibrugarh Rajdhani Express recently. Later on Friday however, the police clarified that it was a hoax.

In this case, a youth had tweeted stating that there were five bombs aboard the train. Officials conducted a thorough search and the train was delayed by around two hours.

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