Repeat Offender: 2 weeks after suspension, ‘manhandling’ TC gets into another altercation at Bandra

Repeat Offender: 2 weeks after suspension, 'manhandling' TC gets into another altercation at Bandra
After being apprised, WR CPRO told Local Press Co that Deepak Rane is being penalised for his actions and being moved to a non-passenger facing role from tomorrow (screengrabs from the video)

A ticket checker, suspended for manhandling a commuter at Bandra station two weeks back, got into a verbal spat with another commuter at the same station on Thursday afternoon.

The travelling ticket examiner (TTE), Deepak Pandurang Rane, had been slammed by netizens and suspended from duty after the video of his altercation had gone viral last month.

The Incident

According to eye-witnesses, Rane was standing at platform 1 of Bandra station earlier today when he stopped a female commuter and enquired about her ticket.

The commuter, whose identity is not known, obliged and showed her pass. But, the TC was not satisfied.

“Although the commuter had a valid monthly pass, the TC asked her to show the associated ID proof. Since she was not carrying her PAN card, used while purchasing the pass, she showed her driving license and a soft copy of the PAN card. The official refused to budge and asked her to either produce the hard copy or pay the fine, Helena, a witness to the incident, told Local Press Co.

The commuter eventually agreed to pay the fine and asked the official to accompany her to the ATM, but he told her to come to the ticket checkers’ office instead, Helena said.

The perplexed commuter, however, got suspicious and refused.

Another eye-witness, Omkar, observed that the TC was not wearing his coat and had hidden his ID card inside his shirt.

“The TC’s appearance raised doubts in the minds of onlookers, who quickly gathered around. Upon seeing the crowd, the official simply walked away with the lady’s pass,” he said.

After the TC left, some people from the crowd spoke to the commuter and advised her to carry on with her journey.

“We had even tried to signal to an RPF official during the commotion, but to no avail. A few minutes later, the TC returned to the platform, stopped two other persons and took them to the cabin,” Omkar told Local Press Co.

The female commuter, meanwhile, boarded a train and left without filing any complaint.

Repeat Offender

Rane, incidentally, had been suspended by the Western Railway just two weeks back for his unruly behaviour.

On May 25, he had got into an argument with Pratik Shedge (23) over the stamping of the latter’s ID card. Even though Shedge paid the fine, an argument broke out between the two in the ticket checkers’ office.

The argument later escalated and turned physical, during which the TC manhandled Shedge. The commuter then filed a complaint with Bandra GRP, which registered an NC against Rane.

Shedge’s friend Ambarish Nair also uploaded a video of the episode on social media, which soon went viral. As the word reached the higher-ups, Rane was suspended from duty and a departmental inquiry was ordered.

The next day, Nair took to Twitter and claimed that Rane had been suspended for misconduct in the past too.

“They (RPF) denied to file a case of assault and asked the victim to visit back on Monday. When inquired, some lady TC’s at Bandra told that Mr. Deepak was suspended for misconduct couple of times in past,” he wrote.

WR’s Response

We reached out to Ravinder Bhaker, CPRO, WR and apprised him of the TC’s repeated violations, following which he confirmed that the official is being penalised and removed from his current role.

“In wake of the recent incident, we have issued a penalty against Rane. We are also moving him to a non-passenger facing role from tomorrow itself. He will not be assigned ticket-checking duty till the department enquiry is over,” he told Local Press Co.

WR’s prompt action, while laudable, is far from adequate to address the issue on a broader level.

Moreover, since stern punishment isn’t a viable option in every case, there is a definite need for conducting more programs geared towards imparting soft-skills training to passenger-facing officials.

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