42-yr-old was released on bail after spending two nights in jail.

Not wearing a mask landed a 42-year-old Matunga resident behind bars this week. Anwar Suleman Shaikh was arrested by Central Railway’s Railway Protection Force (RPF) on November 5 as he roamed Lokmanya Tilak Terminus (LTT) in Kurla without a mask and refused to wear one despite being told to do so.

Shaikh was produced before CSMT railway court and released from jail on November 7, after furnishing a cash bond of Rs 15,000. He was prosecuted under Section 153 of Railway Act (endangering safety of persons travelling by railway by wilful act).

An RPF officer said he was roaming the station without a mask as well as without a ticket. “First we requested him to wear a mask, but he refused and started creating a ruckus on the platform. Hence we decided to prosecute him,” said Keshav Rana RPF inspector of LTT. He added that a chargesheet will be filed within a week. Anwar could not be contacted for comment.

On October 16, Mumbai Mirror had reported how the railways had warned commuters, who repeatedly go mask-less and disregard social distancing rules, that they would be fined and also booked under the Railway Act. Officials had said the aim was to get belligerent, serial violators to fall in line.

ln the past 10 days, over 500 commuters have been fined Rs 200 each by Government Railway Police (GRP) too for not wearing masks.

“Due to the pandemic, we have decided to book offenders who are found roaming on platforms and also in trains without a mask,” said KK Ashraf, senior divisional security commissioner of Central Railway’s Mumbai Division. He added that is anyone is found with fire-crackers, they will also be prosecuted under the same section of the Railway Act.

Since the past four days, a special squad of RPF has been roaming on CR stations with dog squad to check luggages and handbags of local train commuters. This will continue till Diwali, said a CR officer.