Accident or Murder? A senior IRTS officer is killed but all others survive
A senior IRTS officer is killed singly among over 150 engineers by a moving train where he was getting the track repaired….. A joke or something supernatural— Several unanswered questions and mum railway’s halt.
A 2018 batch young neophile Yogendra Singh Bhati (32) a senior ranking officer ARM, a resident of Udaipur Rajasthan posted in Baikunthpur, district Chhattisgarh with an additional charge of Shahdol was the only single hit by Katni-Bilaspur Memo train in the presence of 150 other railway employees while supervising the rail track repair works at 19:45 hours on last Thursday.
A senior IRTS officer is killed singly among over 150 engineers by a moving train where he was getting the track repaired….. something quite unusual or something supernatural— Several unanswered questions among accusations of parents and other family members raise the eyebrow of all.
Deliberate negligence’ was the only word that was prominent when we talked to the parents, wife, and colleagues of the deceased. “ His intelligence coupled with his updated gadgetry and neophile attitude envied all” added his mother while mentioning how his son always liked to remain updated with external appearance and internal knowledge.
The accident took place on June 23 at 7.45 pm, when the non-interlinking process of railways was in progress, and all the workers assigned for the job were on duty and all of sudden, a train crossed both the interlinked tracks. All the men engaged in the track and rail works left their works and saved themselves, but Bhati failed to do so.
No doubt bells rang at higher authorities forcing the General Manager Alok Kumar of South Eastern Central Railway (SECR) along with CCM, and COM to arrive at Amalia station for investigation; still, NO FIR has been registered in the case so far.
According to the complaint filed by Bhati’s mother Ranjana, a series of lapses at more than one level led to her only son’s death. She has been trying to get an FIR registered under Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder, and death by negligence) of the Indian Penal Code.
Her first complaint was submitted to the Government Railway Police (GRP) station at Shahdol on 24 June. When she was allegedly denied an FIR, she lodged a second complaint at the same police station and with the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) on 27 June. Copies of complaints are enclosed.
Bhati’s colleague said, “it was his first posting after completion of training last year. He (Bhati) was then given additional responsibility at Shahdol. This entire area is known as the coal-loading track in the division”. The case shows the insensitivity of the railway authorities, added his batch mates.
The family did not even get an official communication or a condolence message from the Railways. There has been no word on compensation either. He died in the line of duty, she added.
Bhati’s wife and fellow IRTS officer Varsha Chhalotre said the family was yet to receive an official communication expressing condolences from the Railways. “We want an inquiry by a neutral agency, and I want justice for my husband,” she added.
The mother of the deceased accused senior officers of the accident alleging that her son was reeling under constant pressure from his superiors. Expressing her suspicion over the accident, the mother demanded justice for his son.
Though two complaints have already been given by the mother Ranjna Bhati to the GRP, Shahdol, Chief minister, DGP, and high officers of the police but to date no FIR has been registered.
“We shall go to Court if the justice is not meted out to our son’s `murder’ said the mother.
In her complaint, she has mentioned altogether how her son was being humiliated and maltreated by his superiors on several occasions when he sought to leave. He was under constant pressure because of his father’s illness and the verbal increase of duties by his immediate superiors.
“My son was an updated and neophile chap and was preparing for UPSC 2022, she added. Bhati’s mother has also submitted that her son used to be “harassed” by senior officers on a regular basis, was not allotted a house, was not allowed to take leave to see his father who was in the ICU and that his application for transfer to the location where his wife was posted was summarily rejected.
Bhati’s family members and batchmates, including IRTS, IRS, IPS, and IAS officers of the 2018 batch, participated in a video conference with senior railway officials on 27 June, requesting an FIR in the case and an inquiry into the allegations of negligence on the part of the Railways.
The complaint submitted by the family said: “June 23, between 14.30 hrs to 19.40 hrs, at Amlai railway station, construction work was going on for the new line, a few hundred laborers were working in the yard, where there were frequent train movements. For the safety of laborers and other railway staff, the planning of construction work called ‘pre-non-interlocking planning’ had provision for three persons deputed exclusively for blowing hooters or sirens or whistles for alerting all staff and labor for incoming trains.”
“All three persons did not blow the hooter/ siren/ whistles and recklessly failed in their duty to alert Yadvendra Singh Bhati (deceased) because of which an incoming train hit the deceased and caused his death,” it added.
“Trains were supposed to come at 30 kmph speed at Amlai railway station but it (this train) approached the station at 80 kmph because speed restriction board was missing — it was the duty of the junior engineer construction posted at Anuppur railway station to put up the speed indicator board but he was reckless and negligent and did not erect the speed indicator board. Hence, the train which was supposed to come at 30 km per hour speed came at 80 km per hour speed and hit the deceased, Yadvendra Singh Bhati,” it further said.
“The negligent conduct is a continuation of constant harassment that the deceased, Yadvendra Singh Bhati, was subjected to… creating tremendous mental pressure on the deceased in the days preceding the incident. Their conduct is highly circumspect and their involvement in causing unnatural death may be probed. The delay in registration of FIR will weaken the case for prosecution and further allow and alert the accused to escape from the process of law,” the mother wrote.
“There was constant mental harassment, but he never ignored his duty or his responsibility of being the area manager. He got married to Varsha on 24 May and we lost him on 23 June,” added Ranjana Bhati.
Alok Sahay, DRM Railways Bilaspur division when contacted confirmed the departmental inquiry and also confirmed that no FIR has been registered in the case till June 30, 2022. He added that action can be initiated only after the inquiry is completed.
Meanwhile, Ranjana Bhati, mother of the deceased officer stressed that she will if the need arises, move the court to get an FIR registered against all those responsible for the death of her son.