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. The six-minute-long video allegedly showed him mimicking and mocking politicians, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress leader Sonia Gandhi, The Indian Express had reported earlier.
Avdhesh Dubey, who sells on trains, was arrested from a platform at Surat railway station. According to TV9 Gujarati, he was produced before a Railway Court on Friday afternoon. The court sent him to jail for 10 days.
Railway Protection Force Inspector (Surat) Ishwar Singh Yadav said Dubey had been charged with unauthorised vending. “The video clip of Avdhesh Dubey has become very popular on social media and we also received his video,” Yadav added. “In the video clip he was seen making remarks on the political leaders. His way of talking to customers is quite impressive.”
The police have charged him with Section 144 (prohibition on hawking and begging), Section 145B (spreading nuisance or using abusive language in railway carriage), and Section 147 (unlawful entry into train) of the Railway Act.
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.”