After HJS protest, unauthorised prayer place on Railway Station converted back to the porters’ restroom

Porters’ restroom converted to a mosque
Porters’ restroom restored

Bengaluru – Following a video claiming that the porters’ room on Platform No. 5 at Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna Railway Station has been converted into a place of worship for a minority community, volunteers of Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) submitted a memorandum to the Divisional Railway Manager of South Western Railway, seeking action on the ‘unauthorised’ place of prayer and ensure that the premises is reserved only for the purpose which it was meant.

The ‘unauthorised’ place of prayer was converted back to a porters’ restroom on 2nd February 2022 after HJS’ memorandum to South-Western Railways (SWR) officials. According to a report published in Indian Express, one SWR officer said “The restroom is porter’s place and even today they are the one’s who take care of it. We have never interfered in their restroom and they have never complained about their colleagues praying. The issue will be solved in consultation”.

The SWR repainted the walls of the room on 3rd February and deployed Railway Police Force (RPF) personnel after locking it. The colour code used by the Railways for the original construction was white and blue. Muslims had painted it green to underline the exclusivity as non-Muslim porters were not allowed to enter the porters’ restroom since it was converted to a place of prayer for Muslims.

The place of prayer for Muslims was not only converted back to a restroom, but all paraphernalia were also removed. The interior and exterior of this restroom has been painted blue as it was before. A photo frame comprising of different religious symbols put together is also fixed on the wall to emphasize that this is a public place and does not belong to any particular religion.