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Local crime branch, unit 2, of the Government Railway Police (GRP) on Tuesday arrested four Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) party workers including a corporator, for illegally travelling in a local train. The four were also booked for protesting at several railway stations on Monday and demanding that train travel be opened to the public.

Police said the arrested four include Sandeep Despande, 47, an MNS corporator from Dadar, along with Santosh Dhuri, 50, from Prabhadevi, Gajanan Kale, 41, from Nerul and Atul Bhagat, 57, from Uran. All the accused were produced before a Kalyan railway court and remanded in magistrate custody for 14 days.

“We received information that the four had boarded a train from Vangani railway station on the Central Railway line on Monday morning. Seeing the police bandobast they got down at a remote railway station. As they travel illegally we started a search operation to trace them,” said a GRP officer.

A case was registered by the GRP under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Disaster Management Act, 2005, Covid-19 Act, 2020 and Indian Railway Act.

“We arrested the four from a chowk in Karjat. They got down at a remote railway station on the central line and were heading towards Lonavala. Our team was following the car they were travelling in and traced them to Karjat,” said Uttam Sonawane, senior inspector, local crime branch, unit 2, GRP.

Despande told media persons, “Whatever we did was for the benefit of general people. The government and police authorities are pressuring us by adding section 153 and 156 of the Indian Railway Act, which is for travelling on the train roof and throwing stones. We only travelled on the train, and we are proud that we are fighting for commuters for whom this is the only travel option.”

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