The Tughlakabad branch of the All India Local Running Staff Association was inaugurated on July 11, 2012 with great enthusiasm at the Diesel Training College located at the Railway Colony.
The veteran members of the Association expressed their happiness at the presence of a larger than expected number of loco pilots on the occasion.
Com. Ramsharan (Vice President, Centre) presided over the meeting. Shri S. Kumar (Organisational Secy. North Zone), Shri R. K. Meena (President, Delhi Division) and Shri P. S. Gangwar (Secy, Delhi Division) were among those who participated the meeting.
The Secretary, Delhi Division elaborated the aims of and necessity for the Association as he welcomed the meeting. He explained why the protests of the loco pilots across the country against the recent orders of the North Zone Railway authorities that the Helper of the loco pilot and the guard of the train “must convey the corpses lying on the tracks to the brake van and deliver the same to the next station” were just.
He explained that this was an extremely sensitive matter. Complying with this order means that long distance trains would be obstructed in reaching their destination on time, and it will be a waste of time of the passengers. Further, the loco pilot’s concentration would be adversely affected in fulfilling all the formalities associated with picking up a corpse, placing it in the brake van and delivering it to the next station.
He pointed out that there is a danger of tampering with the primary evidences that would be found on and near the dead body, such as the blood stains, injury signs, finger prints of others on the corpse and clothes on and around the corpse, the distance of the dead body and time of death. The attention of the loco pilots is focused on running the train and not in in ensuring that the evidence needed for investigation is not tampered with while lifting and conveying the corpse. This is the work of the police and railway administration. This order violates the prevailing directives given to the engine drivers.
He further explained that if death has resulted from murder, then such a case would be legally very sensitive. In such a circumstance, any kind of interference with the corpse would amount to destruction of evidence and the railway administration would be doing a grave injustice to the family of the dead.
A veteran loco pilot said that the directive of the Human Rights Commission that the Indian Railways should treat the dead body with appropriate honor is just. However this order of arbitrarily requiring that loco pilots to take the responsibility of conveying the dead body without regard to the consequences, does great injustice to the loco pilots.
A senior loco pilot commented, “today they are ordering us to pick up the corpse, tomorrow they will be asking us to perform the last rites and the 13th day formalities – is this in consonance with the mandate of the loco pilots?”
Another young loco pilot who has recently come on transfer, talked about the irresponsible behavior of the management towards contractual issues. Management objects even to a simple request for a duty list.
In conclusion Central President Com. Ramcharan felicitated the office bearers elected unanimously at the meeting.