A hawker selling toys in trains was jailed for ten days and slapped a fine of Rs3,500 hours after he was arrested by Railway Protection Police (RPF) in Surat. For the past five days, a six-minute-long video of Dubey was doing the rounds on WhatsApp groups, YouTube, Twitter among other social media platforms.
The six-minute-long video (at bottom) allegedly showed him mimicking and mocking politicians, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, The Indian Express had reported earlier.
The hawker, who sells toys in trains, was arrested by RPF at Surat Railway Station. The hawker has been identified as Avdhesh Dubey.
No, hawker caught on Surat train wasn’t booked for mimicking politicians
The Indian Railways has said that a train hawker who featured in a viral video that showed him parodying politicians had been arrested on the charge of unauthorised vending.
According to a report in Indian Express, the hawker has been charged under many sections of Railway Act, including section 44 (prohibition on hawking and begging), 145 B (spreading nuisance or using abusive language in railway carriage), 147 (unlawful entry into train).
In the viral video, Dubey could be seen mimicking PM Modi, Congress leaders like Sonia Gandhi her Rahul Gandhi, and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, as he sell toys to passengers in the train.
According to TV9 Gujarati, he was produced before a Railway Court on Friday afternoon. The court sent him to jail for 10 days.
Dubey is a repeated offender?
Dubey is from the city of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh and had migrated to Gujarat’s Valsad district two years ago. Since then, he has been selling toys to passengers travelling between Vapi and Surat.
Later, in a statement, the Indian Railways said that after Dubey was produced before the court, the railway magistrate verified his past record and learned of his repeated offences under Section 144 of the Railways Act. Dubey confessed that he had been indulging in unauthorised hawking in trains since 2005.
“As the Railway Magistrate has been dealing [with] such repeated offenders strongly, he imposed him the punishment of 10 days imprisonment and fine[d] Rs 3500,” the Railways said. “It is pertinent to mention here that [the railway] magistrate has imposed imprisonment up to 30 days also in other such cases. It is routine action by RPF, Surat against unauthorised vendors and eight other persons were also arrested during this drive in the month of May by RPF, Surat.”
Had we not taken any action media would have questioned us: Surat RPF inspector Ishwar Singh Yadav told DH
Following his arrest, scores of people expressed their anger on social media and appealed for help. In several posts, it was claimed that he “canvassed for the BJP” during the recently held Lok Sabha polls. Dubey is being hailed on these platforms as “stand-up comedian” and “Talented Train Seller.” “Had we not taken any action media would have questioned us and now that we had indeed taken action, people are objecting to it,” Yadav complained.