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Man dies at Guj station during ‘Raees’ train promotion, unfortunate, says SRK

SRK in Mathura railway station

Vadodara/New Delhi : Tragedy hit Shah Rukh Khan’s train promotion campaign for his upcoming ‘Raees’ when a man died of cardiac arrest during a massive rush to have a glimpse of the superstar at Vadodara railway station in Gujarat that also left two policemen injured.

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu today took to Twitter to say he has directed Director General of Railway Protection Force(RPF) to investigate the matter and take stern action against any lapse even as Khan described as “really unfortunate” the death of the 45-year-old man identified as Farid Khan Pathan, a local politician from Vadodara.

The Gujarat Railway Police ordered an inquiry into the chaos and subsequent death of the man after an estimated 15,000-strong crowd went berserk in the rush to have a look at the 51-year-old superstar when the Mumbai-Delhi August Kranti Rajdhani Express train made its scheduled halt in Vadodara at 10.30 PM last night.

The inquiry was ordered by Western Railway Superintendent of Police(SP), Vadodara Division, Sharad Singhal, who confirmed the death of Pathan during the chaos. The deceased was a relative of one of the journalists travelling with SRK, and had apparently come to meet her.

Two policemen were also injured as the crowd went out of control when the train halted in Vadodara and some of them started banging the window panes. Police had to resort to mild lathi-charge to control the situation.

Authorities said Pathan died of cardiac arrest. “When police was trying to control the crowd from running behind the moving train, 45-year-old Farid Khan Pathan fell unconscious and subsequently died in the hospital. Two of our police constables were also injured in the chaos” said Singhal, adding that a Deputy SP rank officer would probe the incident.

“I have ordered an inquiry into the entire incident to find out whether the organizers have taken any permission for such event or not. If yes, then who has given them permission and how such a large number of persons were allowed to gather at the station” said Singhal.

Pathan was a member of Gujarat unit of Samajwadi Party and earlier served as its state minority cell president. He then resigned from the post in 2012, said Gujarat SP spokesperson Kiran Kansara.

According to Singhal, an overwhelming number of fans of the Bollywood superstar converged at the station hoping that Khan would do a hand shake with them and allow fans to click photos upon his arrival at the station.

“In a message that was doing rounds in social media, it was claimed that Khan would shake hands with everyone and would click selfies at the station. Thus, around 15,000 persons stormed into the railway station during night, way above our estimate of 2,000 to 3,000,” said Singhal.

Khan had boarded the train from Mumbai Central for Delhi as part of his promotional campaign ‘Raees by Rail’.

Among others, cricketers Irrfan and Yusuf Pathan, who reside in Vadodara, were also at the station to meet Khan, Singhal said.

“Upon his arrival, Khan came out of his coach and greeted his fans for just 20 seconds. When the train started its journey for Godhra, people, who were hoping that Khan would once again come out, started running behind it. Attempting to control them, two of our policemen got injured while Farid Khan got unconscious and eventually died.”

Singhal claimed that whoever responsible for this chaos and death will not be spared.

“One of our colleagues was travelLing. Her uncle came down to see her at Vadodara. He suffered from a cardiac arrest. It was really unfortunate. We started the journey thinking we all will travel, spend time with each other when one of your own loses someone one on a trip like this, it saddens us all.

“On behalf of everyone, our prayers and blessings are with the whole family. She has reached there. I just spoke to her…We have some of our people with the family members there,” Shah Rukh told reporters at Delhi’s Hazrat Nizamuddin railway station.

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