Mumbai: Six men have been arrested and charged for the murder of a 25-year-old labourer from Uttar Pradesh in a running train near Mumbai, police said on Thursday adding it was a fight over a window seat that led to the crime and not an anti-north Indian row.
State Additional Director of Police (Addl. DGP) K P Raghuvanshi told journalists here that the accused have been remanded in police custody till November 3 in connection with the Tuesday killing of Dharamdev Ramnarain Rai.
The arrested men are Vikas Waghmare (26), Manoj R. Palande (30), Avinash Dongre (24), Ajay D. Hadap (18), Sanjay Hadap (18) and Ketan Hadap (23). They are residents of villages in the Khopoli region. One of them is a college student.
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Raghuvanshi emphatically said the interrogation of the accused has revealed that it was a spontaneous fight over a window seat that led to Rai’s killing.
“So far there is nothing to indicate that it was a north Indian versus Marathi row. We are on the lookout for the other accomplices of the accused,” he said.
He also said that according to Rai’s autopsy report, he died due to a ruptured liver after he was beaten up in the running train.
Police said on Tuesday afternoon, Dharamdev and his three friends - Dheeraj Verma, Virendra Rai and Satya Prakash - were hammered by the rival group which staked claim to a window seat in the Khopoli-Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus suburban train, around 120 km from here.
When Rai and his friends refused to vacate the window seat, the other group started hammering them even as the train hurtled at a speed of over 80 km to the next station, Neral.
Within a few minutes, Rai lay in the compartment severely injured.
Following an emergency message conveyed through the railway police control, the Government Railway Police (GRP) took charge of the matter at Badlapur station, around 80 km from Mumbai.
Rai was rushed to a nearby hospital where he succumbed to injuries later that day. His death succeeded in kicking up a nationwide political row with demands to sack the Congress-led Democratic Front Government of Maharashtra.
Mumbai has lately seen a spurt in violence against non-Maharashtrians, led by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena of Raj Thackeray. The state government has been accused of not doing enough to control the situation.