MTR station staff have been put on alert after a Falun Gong member distributed the group's newspapers on a train yesterday morning. A woman was seen handing out two sets of papers, written in Chinese and English, on a train from Sheung Wan to Central on the Island line at about 9.30am. Witnesses said she left the train at Central. The papers carried a story on Falun Gong practitioners filing lawsuits against former president Jiang Zemin and recounted alleged mistreatment of the sect's followers by mainland authorities. The Falun Gong has been banned on the mainland as a heretical sect since 1999 but remains legal in Hong Kong. May Wong, deputy corporate relations manager of the MTR Corporation, said people needed permission to distribute printed matter on trains or stations, and that no written application was received before yesterday's incident. 'Generally, we've never, or very rarely, allowed anybody or organisation to distribute leaflets on a train because it's very disturbing to passengers,' Ms Wong said While staff at Sheung Wan and Central stations had not been aware of the incident, she said they had been told to be more alert and to take immediate action if such incidents are spotted. Unauthorised distribution of printed matter within the MTR's railway premises carries a maximum penalty of a $5,000 fine and three months' imprisonment. Kan Hung-cheung, chairman of the Hong Kong Association of Falun Dafa, said he did not know about the incident yesterday. 'Generally speaking, our members would only distribute leaflets in public areas,' he said.