Fiat on dead bodies riles train drivers
Added At: 2012-04-18 11:36 PM
Last Updated At: 2012-04-18 11:36 PM
AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
NEW DELHI: Train drivers in India are furious after being told in new directives that they should remove bodies from the tracks to help cut down on delays, a workers’ organisation said today.
Indian Railways issued a circular last month instructing assistant drivers and guards to “load the body on the brake van and remove it to the nearest gate lodge or the next station” to reduce disruption to running schedules.
Outraged rail unions have called the new move an act of “criminal coercion” that infringes on the judicial system of the country.
“It is inherently illegal,” complained Sanjay Kumar Padhi, one of the heads of the Indian Railways Loco Running Organisation, who read out the circular over the phone.
“The removal of bodies from the tracks by guards and drivers will amount to the removal of primary evidence from the scene of a crime,” Padhi told AFP.
“The railways is clearly jumping the signal on this one.”
The circular has now been withdrawn and sent back for “fresh deliberations”, a divisional railway manager said.
“It has gone back to the railways headquarters. It is being reconsidered,” he said, requesting not to be named.
In a report on Tuesday, the Hindustan Times newspaper claimed the problem of bodies being found on the tracks had been growing alarmingly.
“Organised groups bring bodies from elsewhere and throw them on the tracks to claim compensation from the railways,” an unnamed Railways official was quoted as saying by the paper.
Padhi of the Loco organisation said drivers and guards could not assume the role of police and get involved in criminal matters