BENGALURU: A 30-plus group of trainees belonging to the Indian Air Force (IAF), who behaved in an unruly fashion at the Bengaluru Cantonment Railway station, when booking tickets on Wednesday night were taken to the Railway Protection Force (RPF) station for their misbehavior. They were let off with a strong warning after the person-in-charge of the group apologized on their behalf to the cops, said multiple sources.
According to eyewitnesses present at the spot, the incident occurred around 7 pm at the booking counter area. “The group spread across the three booking counters and were standing as a group and speaking loudly among themselves. An RPF cop, quite senior in age, was trying to regulate the crowd and was asking the public in front of each of these counters to stand in a queue. He told these trainees too,” a source said.
The IAF men in civilian clothes, but donning an IAF jacket, refused to do so despite the cop repeatedly urging them to do so.
“The trainees kept speaking loudly among themselves. A few of them then pushed the cop aside and rebuked him for daring to touch the person-in-charge of their group. He then called his superior officer to the spot,” another source said.
Two different sources at the station also alleged that the group was drunk. There was much resentment among the public standing in the queue too over the behavior as well as the time taken by this group.
“We close our reservation counters at 8 pm. Defence personnel are provided `Warrants’ to book tickets and it is permissible to book four tickets using one Warrant. For instance, one person books a ticket from Bengaluru to Delhi and then from there to Jammu as well as the return trips. This ensures each one takes more time to book their tickets when compared to the rest,” a source explained.
The entire group was hauled off to the RPF station on Platform One. They were given a stern warning.
“The person-in-charge apologised on behalf of the group and told the cops that they had not even completed two years in their jobs and were still on training and requested they be forgiven,” the source added.
They were finally let off. Many in the group returned to their quarters without booking their tickets as the counters got closed.
Asked about it, a Defence Department spokesperson, told TNIE, “The matter is yet to be brought to our knowledge officially. We will look into it and get back.”
Railway officials alleged that unbecoming behaviour by staffers of the Defence forces happened on and off on trains and at stations.
“There is an unwillingness to listen to our staff. A few of them have this mindset that they can get away with any kind of behaviour as they work for the forces,” explained an official.