Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 6:
The National Human Rights Commission has taken serious exception to dilly dallying by Railways over payment of compensation to a 24-year old Odisha youth who lost a leg after he was pushed out of a running train by the TTE for travelling without a ticket.
The Commission upheld the submissions in this regard by rights activist and lawyer Prabir Kumar Das and gave one last chance to the Railways to submit a compliance report alongwith the proof of payment of compensation to the victim within four weeks failing which “the Commission would be compelled invoke its coercive power, seeking personal appearance of the head of the Indian Railway, the Chairman of the Railway Board.
According to reports five years ago, on May 11, 2009 a 24-year-old youth named Benudhar Bhoi was allegedly thrown out of a running train (Santragachhi-Puri Passenger) by a TTE named R.P.Samartha between Jajpur Road and Jakhapura stations just because Benudhar and his cousin Deepak Bhoi were travelling without tickets.
Benudhar’s right leg was crushed under the wheels and he was taken first to the local hospital at Jajpur Road and then shifted to SCB Medical College and Hospital ,Cuttack where his right leg had to be amputated.
Alleging serious human rights violation, advocate Prabir Kumar Das moved the NHRC which issued notice to the Chairman,Railway Board.In response to the notice,the Railways blamed Benudhar for travelling without ticket and took the stand that Benudhar got injured when he was trying to jump down from the running train when it slowed down at the spot.
Advocate Das rubbished the report submitted by the Railway authorities and informed the NHRC that the Govt.Railway Police,Bhadrak, after an inquiry on the basis of the FIR lodged by Benu’s cousin Deepak,had chargesheeted the TTE Martha under various sections of IPC (341,337,338 and 307).
Advocate Das contended before NHRC that Section 137 of the Railways Act has provision for imprisonment upto six months or fine upto Rs.1,000/- for travelling without a ticket but to throw a ticketless passenger from a running train amounts to gross violation of human rights.
The NHRC agreed with advocate Das’ submissions and directed the Chairman,Railway Board to pay compensation of Rs. $ lakh to the victim Benudhar Bhoi. This order was passed by NHRC on 27-12-2012.
However, instead of complying with the directions of the NHRC, the Railway authorities,have so far not paid compensation to the victim under various pretexts.
It is believed that the NHRC ultimatum would now weigh heavy on the Railway and teh victim will be paid the compensation amount of Rs 4 lakh.