Just after the Pulwana attack in Kashmir, the Mumbai Local Train Driver was attacked by Chilli powder by a stranger. Despite being attacked with chilli powder, the motorman Laxman Singh drove 18 kilometres carrying more than 2000 commuters in a Mumbai local on Saturday, 16th Feb 2019 to avoid inordinate delay.
Laxman Singh was piloting the CSMT (Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus )- Titwala down local train on Saturday afternoon when some unidentified attackers threw chilli powder at the motorman’s cabin just as he had crossed Kalva railway station. Despite severe burning sensation in his eyes, Singh, 48, kept driving the train as halting the train would have led to inordinate delay on the complete railway line. It could have also resulted into panic or a sudden accident if he decided to stop driving and wait for a replacement.
A panicked mob could result into a bigger causality which he feared and kept driving despite the immense burning and continuous eyes watering, due to the chilli attacked, which was also making his vision blur, while driving.
Singh was felicitated for this feat on Monday by the Central Railway DRM (Divisional Railway Manager) Sanjay Jain with an appreciation certificate and a cash reward of Rs 1000.
According to railway officials, Singh had left the Kalva railway station when some unidentified attackers threw some powder which smell and looked like chilli powder at the motormans cabin.
The incident occurred at 3:35 pm but Singh piloted the local train further after informing the control room. When he reached the eixt station, Mumbra, some station officials met him along with the Deputy Station Superintendent. Singh was told that the replacement wasn’t possible for him at Mumbra after which he chose to pilot the local which runs at 95KMPH till the next station after washing his eyes with water which was the only alternative he had to resolve the burning and the blurring .
The DY Station Superintendent accompanied him in the motorman’s cabin. On the next station, Diva, he again washed his eyes and again moved on to the next station Kopar. The wait for a replacement would have taken a long time, as the Western Railway route in Mumbai as it was disturbed due to protests against Pulwama attacks. He had no substitute, no quick resolution. Singh kept washing his eyes at the next stations — Dombivali and Thakurli — too and piloted the local safely till Kalyan. He reached Kalyan at around 4:12 pm.”
After reaching Kalyan, he was relieved by railway officials and taken to a nearby hospital for treatment where doctors said that the powder had entered his eyes. After providing medication, Singh was allowed to go home. He had washed his eyes several times which saved him from loosing the vision. But the burning was immense which will now recover said the Doctor.
“The DRM Central Railways felicitated Singh for his exemplary service with a certificate and a cash prize. Also the process of filing a police complaint against the miscreants has been initiated” said CPRO Central Railways Sunil Udasi.
Laxman is a unknown hero who has saved many which his promote decision and sacrifice for the entire journey. This sacrifice could have also caused him to loose his vision due to the continuous burning despite several washes. His heroic act is beyond commendable.
Though the question arises that whether this was a terror attack or a unforeseen mishap and what is the intention of this stranger to do this??