RPF constable Chetan Singh who gunned down four people aboard a Jaipur-Mumbai train has now been slapped with additional charges of promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion.
Earlier, Singh, 33, denied any communal angle in the murder of the four victims, an NDTV report said. The victims were identified as assistant sub-inspector Tikaram Meena, 57, and three passengers -- Saifuddin Mainuddin, 43, from Hyderabad; Asgar Abbas Ali, 48, from Madhubani, Bihar; and Abdul Kadar Mohamed Hussain Bhanpurwala, 64, from Palghar, Maharashtra,
The Government Railway Police have added IPC Section 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc., and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony) in the FIR against accused. Earlier, the FIR was registered under IPC Section 302 (murder), Arms Act 3, 25, 27, and Railways Act.
The police was granted custody of the accused till August 11 after they sought time to identify the witnesses and scan CCTV footage.
The incident took place on July 31 near Palghar railway station in Maharashtra. After shooting the victims, the accused tried to flee.
As per Railway and RPF officers, Singh was carrying an AK 47 rifle and a magazine with 20 rounds. He fired 12 rounds, and the rest 8 bullets were seized with the weapon. He was caught with his weapon later after passengers pulled the chain of the train near Mira Road station.
Singh joined the RPF in 2009 on compassionate grounds after the death of his father. He was transferred to Mumbai from Bhavnagar in Gujarat last March, another railway official said. Railway officials refuted reports that Singh was upset over his transfer to Mumbai.
After media reports claimed that the constable suffered from "abnormal hallucinations" and was diagnosed with serious anxiety disorder, the Ministry of Railways in a statement on August 2 said in a statement that no mental ailment was detected in the last periodic medical examination of the RPF constable.
However, the statement was withdrawn that evening, with a Railway spokesperson saying,
"The press release has been withdrawn.”
A senior RPF official earlier said its constables undergo a health check-up every five years, but no record is available to show whether Singh had undergone a health check-up in the last two years or not.
– with inputs from PTI