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1035 held for singing, playing cards in locals in 5 yrs: RTI

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Mumbai: The Central and Western Railways have arrested 1,035 people for singing ‘qawalis’, ‘bhajans’ and for playing cards in suburban trains in the last 5 years and collected over Rs 12 lakhs from them as fine, an RTI has query has revealed.

A city-based RTI activist Mansoor Darvesh had filed a query with the Central and Western Railways, seeking to know the total number of persons arrested for singing ‘bhajans’, ‘qawalis’ and for playing cards in local trains in the period January 1, 2011 to May 30, 2016.

He also sought to know the amount collected from them as fine.

In response, the Central Railways said 7 persons have been arrested for singing bhajans, qawalis, while 378 people have been arrested for playing cards in over 5 years.

It added that a total fine of Rs 1,10,985 was recovered from them.

Western Railways in its response said 6 persons have been arrested for singing in local trains, while 644 persons have been arrested for playing cards.

It said a total fine of Rs 11,51,878 was recovered from them.

Unsatisfied with the response, Darvesh claimed that a large number of people performing the illegal acts have been overlooked by the Railway authorities.

“I am travelling in local trains for the last 40 years and I have noticed a steady increase in people engaging in these illegal acts. Going by the number of people booked, the Railway police seems to have overlooked these people,” he said.

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