Co-written by Tanvi Shenoy
Express News Service
There was drama at Kandivali railway station on Thursday morning after a man climbed up and sat under a railway foot overbridge and stayed there for nearly three hours. He was brought down after the fire brigade personnel hit him with sticks and laid a tarpaulin sheet to break his fall. The man, Ramsingh Baise (22), had first given commuters a scare after entering a women’s compartment of a Churchgate-bound train at platform 3, wielding a knife, police said. Seeing him, some startled women exited the compartment. Baise got off the train and climbed onto the bearings of the foot overbridge between platforms 3 and 4 at 10.30 am. He settled in a cramped space between the roof of the bridge and a set of concrete columns. “We were alerted when passengers saw him climbing the bridge. We alerted the fire brigade. We did not try to bring him down before the fire brigade officials arrived because he was seated above two working lines. It would have been catastrophic had he slipped,” said a railway official at Kandivali. “He climbed up the bridge like Spiderman. I don’t understand how he did it. Once he was up there, he kept moving and shifting from one column to another. He took care to stay away from the overhead wires,” said constable Vishwanath Panchal of Borivali railway police station. Police and fire brigade personnel spent close to three hours trying to persuade Baise. “He wouldn’t say anything. Whenever we asked him his name, he would smile and fold hands above his head,” Panchal said.
A crowd gathered on the platforms and the tracks to get a glimpse of Baise. “We were afraid that an accident would take place with so many people refusing to move and taking pictures and videos. Suddenly, people forgot that they had trains to catch. At least four trains must have run empty,” said Constable Daulat Gaikwad. Ashok Mandal, who works at a food stall on platform 3, said: “He was carrying a knife. I don’t know what made him climb up the bridge,” he said. With the authorities negotiating with Baise, fire brigade personnel climbed up ladders and resorted to poking him repeatedly with long bamboo sticks.
Borivali Railway Police said train services towards Churchgate came to a halt around 12.30 pm and electricity connection was cut in overhead wires for about half-an-hour to prevent a mishap before Baise fell on a tarpaulin sheet at 1 pm. “He was taken to Shatabdi Hospital. Prima facie, the accused seems to be mentally disturbed, but it will be confirmed when a psychological evaluation is done,” said Shailendra Dhiwar, Senior Inspector, Borivali railway police. Baise has been booked under Sections 153 (endangering safety of persons travelling by railway by wilful act or omission) and 162 (entering carriage or other place reserved for females) of the Railways Act, apart from causing nuisance and posing a danger to the public under the Criminal Procedure Code. He will be produced in court on Friday, the police said. Baise is a migrant labourer from Madhya Pradesh and lives in Kandivali East.
Tanvi Shenoy is a student of NSoJ and is an intern with The Indian Express, Mumbai