RPF constable forced woman to say Jai Mata Di under gunpoint

Another incident highlighting the brutality of the RPF constable's train rampage, as news of a burqa-clad woman forced to say Jai Mata Di surfaces
Image: PTI

A burqa-clad woman was forced under gun point to say Jai Mata Di according to new information that has emerged about the gruesome murderous incident involving Railway Protection Force (RPF) Constable Chetan Singh, who reportedly went on a deadly shooting spree on the Jaipur-Mumbai Central Superfast Express on July 31. The incident, which claimed the lives of four people, including a senior colleague of Singh and three Muslim passengers, has garnered widespread attention and outcry.

According to a report by The Hindu, recent investigations by the Government Railway Police (GRP) Borivali has uncovered this new disturbing episode that adds another layer to this already disturbing incident and a video has emerged depicting Singh, during his rampage on the train, had also targeted a burqa-clad woman passenger. According to the survivor’s testimony, the constable aimed his weapon at her and forced her to say Jai Mata Di at gunpoint. Following this, he instructed her to say it louder.

This harrowing incident was also captured by the train’s CCTV cameras, having the potential to provide for crucial evidence for the ongoing investigation. The woman, whose identity has been protected, has been identified as a key witness in this case.

The new information adds to the already unsettling narrative surrounding the rampage. Three of Singh’s victims were observed to be targeted based on their religious identities, evident from their appearance, including beards and traditional Islamic attire. The constable fired 12 rounds from his service weapon and made chilling proclamations in a video shared on social media which have further highlighted the religious undercurrents in this tragic incident.

Although charges related to kidnapping and promoting enmity have been added to the chargesheet, the authorities are yet to confirm the motive of communal hatred as a contributing factor in the case. This has led to several critics questioning the gravity and thoroughness of the investigation.

The investigation so far 

Chetan Singh faces serious charges. The incident, which sent shockwaves across the nation, led to the loss of 4 lives, including that of his superior, Assistant Sub-Inspector Tikaram Meena, and three passengers – Abdul Kadar Mohamed Hussain Bhanpurawala, Syed Saifuddin, and Asgar Abbas a Sheikh.

Among the charges levelled against Singh are grave offences, including murder under IPC Section 302, and IPC Section 153A, which pertains to promoting enmity between different groups based on religion, race, place of birth, and residence. These legal actions are also accompanied by sections of the Arms Act and Railways Act, reflecting the gravity of the incident that unfolded within the train’s carriages.

Investigations have unearthed a sequence of events that point to Singh’s alleged involvement in the killings. Reportedly, he utilised his automatic service weapon to unleash a barrage of gunfire, causing the violent deaths of Assistant Sub-Inspector Tikaram Meena and passenger Abdul Kadar, both within coach B5. Moving on, Singh’s alleged rampage took him to coach B1, where he purportedly shot and killed Syed Saifuddin. His violent spree culminated in coach S1, where the final victim, Asgar Abbas Sheikh met a tragic end.

Disturbingly, Singh’s alleged victims were seemingly targeted based on their religious identities. Notably, those who were visibly identifiable as Muslims, owing to their traditional attire, including skullcaps and Kurta-Pyjama, were reportedly singled out by the accused.

In a video that circulated on social media platforms, Chetan Singh can be heard expressing support for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath. These utterances were made even as the lifeless body of one of the Muslim victims lay at his feet.

Family members of some of the victims have conveyed that Singh’s questioning of their religion preceded the tragic events. Allegedly, Singh also taunted the victims while vocally endorsing Modi and Adityanath. These assertions give a plausible context in which the incident occurred and the hate-filled rhetoric that surrounded it.

As the investigation unfolds, the authorities are yet to conclusively establish communal hatred as a motivating factor. Authorities have earlier also claimed that Singh might have mental illness, but this has not been substantiated or corroborated yet. In the din surrounding the incident, the motives of the assailant are yet to be determined as of yet by the police. Similarly, according to the Indian Express, a kin of the murdered, Hussain Bhanpurwala, says that GRP officials have still not disclosed the intention of the accused RPF man behind the crime.

As the investigation continues, the nation watches closely for justice to be served and for the underlying issues that led to this tragic event to be addressed. The case raises important questions about the state of religious harmony and respect for diversity within society in India, prompting conversations that go beyond this single incident.

This incident has sparked concerns about safety in the country’s minorities. Fear and anxiety have crept into public transportation, as Muslims are now wary of travelling alone in such settings. Calls for an impartial investigation against the killings continue. A human rights organisation, PUCL Maharashtra has urged for a court-monitored investigation by a Special Investigation Team or independent agency into the hate killings by RPF constable Chetan Singh. In a statement released on 8th August 2023, one of the PUCL’s demands include the need for a fair and thorough investigation, with proper evidence collection, and prosecution using relevant sections of the IPC. The group also has called for an examination of Singh’s exposure to hate propaganda, his affiliations, and sources of influence including social media. The organisation has further demanded timely trial, as well as witness protection, and compensation for victims’ families given the vulnerability of minority populations. Additionally, the organisation also stresses the larger need for swift action against hate speech, communal propaganda, and known perpetrators and highlights the urgent need for greater sensitivity in investigative authorities, the PUCL has lastly demanded that the authorities should monitor biases and prejudices among police and security forces to prevent such incidents in the future, and regular sessions should be conducted to sensitise officers to constitutional values.



Charges filed in railway shooting case raise alarm over communal tensions 

The Visceral Anti-Muslim Hatred of Chetan Singh is Just a Symptom, The Disease is More Widespread 

CJP petitions NCM against arms training camps, weapon distribution events in Assam and Rajasthan 

RPF constables kills 3 Muslims, one senior, reports suggest killer picked victims from passengers



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