Man dies after falling off train in mobile snatching incident

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A 19-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly snatching the mobile phone of a passenger travelling on a suburban local here leading to the latter falling off it and dying, railway police said on Friday.

The incident happened in the early hours of August 19 when Nashik-based medical professional Chetan Ahirrao (35) was standing on the footboard of a Central Railway local train while on his way to Diva station in neighbouring Thane district, the official said.

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"Just as the train was about to leave the platform at Kalwa station, accused Ajay Solanki (19) hit Ahirrao on the wrist to snatch his cellphone. The victim jumped off the train to retrieve the mobile but fell beside the tracks and was grievously injured. He died while being rushed to a hospital," the official said.

Solanki fled the scene after picking up Ahirrao's mobile phone, he said. "While initially it was believed to be a case of a passenger falling off a local train, suspicion was aroused when we realised that the victim's cellphone was missing. We then scoured the CCTV footage of Kalwa station and zeroed in on Solanki," the official said.

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Solanki was picked up a day after the incident from a slum near Kalwa station and has been charged with sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 397 (robbery or dacoity, with attempt to cause death or grievous hurt), the official said.

"He has been previously arrested in a case of mobile snatching at Kalyan station in 2017," the official added.

He has been remanded in police custody till September 3 and further probe into the incident was underway, the official said.

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Railway activist Subhash Gupta called the incident a failure of the railway's security apparatus and said that the public transporter had failed to instill confidence among its passengers.

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