On 6th October suburban commuters of the city faced a real nightmarish experience. This incident brought back the memories of the 2006 Mumbai bomb blasts which claimed the lives of 209 people. The 6.47 pm CST-Badlapur train was approaching the CST platform as passengers (including me), rushed into the coaches to grab a seat. Luckily, I got the window seat in one of the rear-end First Class coaches. After occupying the seat, I noticed a medium sized black bag just beside me. Initially, I thought that somebody might have kept the bag to reserve a place for “himself” or his friend.
Subsequently, the coach was filled with passengers and I started inquiring with my ‘neighbours’ about the bag and its owner? There was no response and everybody disowned the bag. For a moment all of us were afraid and we didn’t know what step we should take. I somehow mustered courage to open the bag for checking its contents. The boy seated beside me and others too helped me in this search operation. Later we found some medical reports, visiting cards, spectacle box, a water bottle and a big sized vertical / cylindrical shaped lunch box. Above all, there was no wallet or any contact number which we could trace for calling the owner of the bag.
I always carry phone number of railways, police, ambulance etc. to act in an emergency situation. After dialling the first number I didn’t receive any response. Later, I dialled the emergency number 182 but I was unable to connect. Then I tried the third number as a railway official attended the call as I narrated to him about the incident. He inquired with me about the details of the train, showed concern and assured of necessary action. By then we had already crossed Dadar station. Since the coach was overcrowded everyone panicked. A gentleman suggested that we should not wait for the arrival of the police and instead throw the bag out of the train. Later the bag was thrown on the railway tracks.
The commute between CST and Matunga (where the bag was thrown) was indeed a nightmare. And I could notice that every passenger was worried as they rightly thought about the consequences should an unfortunate “event occur. Everybody was thinking about the ‘Mumbai suburban train blasts incident. Few days back accused responsible for committing this crime were awarded death sentences.
I nonetheless appreciate the manner in which passengers showed serious concern as they came together and cooperated in the actions that followed. Most of the times, it’s we the commuters who should be more concerned about the security and safety around us. Every one of us should remain vigilant to avert terror incidents. We should not hesitate to take actions and decisions in a judicious and an expeditious manner.