The Maharashtra State Commission for Women has asked the Central and Western railways to step up deployment of police personnel in coaches of local trains to curb instances of crime against women commuters.
The commission sent a letter on August 19 demanding detailed action taken report on the matter in the wake of recent instances where women were killed or critically injured by muggers in trains. The letter points to two incidents that occurred last week after dark — the first case being that of a women who was killed when she fell off a long-distance train near the Thane creek in an attempt to save her purse from a mugger. In another instance, 23-year-old woman was pelted with stones by thieves near Goregaon while traveling in a local train, robbed and dumped along the tracks.
The commission chairperson Susieben Shah said she held meetings with senior GRP officers around two months ago and that they assured her that GRP personnel would be stationed in each and every ladies coach between 8.30 pm and 6 am. “However, there have been several incidents of molestation or theft over the last few days. We have asked the WR and CR to send us a report on the safety measures adopted by them in trains and railway stations. Women passengers who find themselves in unmanned compartments at night can click a picture and send it to our office so we can act on specific complaints,” she said.
GRP commissioner Ravindra Singhal said in view of the recent cases of crimes against women commuters, the department recently identified spots along the railway tracks at Thane, Borivli, Bandra and other places where miscreants take advantage of the trains regularly slowing down. “Cops will be stationed after dark at these locations. While we cannot cover womens’ coaches in the day-time, we aim to have cops and home-guards in every first and second-class ladies compartment at night in addition to regular patrolling of stations by our five commando squads,” he said. Singhal added that the ‘Nirbhay squad’ with nine GRP cops in plainclothes for regular surveillance along Central railway would be expanded to include more manpower and extended to the WR.
This article originally appeared in The Indian Express. Click here to read the original article.