A 23-year-old woman was molested and there was an attempt made to kill her by a 28-year-old drunk man. The incident happened in a moving local train in the city, on Saturday. The woman boarded the second-class ladies compartment at 5.40 am from Mumbai Central railway station and was headed towards Mahim for work. Shockingly, the molestation took place at 5.40 am, a time when compartments are nearly empty, but there are a few people in the train and on platforms.
The incident highlights the questionable safety measures for women train commuters. There was not a single constable in the women’s compartment, at that odd hour. Excuses are routinely trotted out about lack of personnel to man these compartments. This, in spite of instances where women have been in danger inside compartments, from threats of robbery, to molestation and being thrown off the train in case, they struggle with their attacker. It is even more despicable that the molestation occurred in a place as public as a train, near two fairly crowded stations, though of course, crowds may be thin at this hour. It proves that assailants are getting bolder and even more brazen, thus emphasising on the need for greater vigil and even better security measures.
There are a huge number of women using trains as daily figures put the number at 20 lakh. The Government Railway Police (GRP) saying it recorded 517 cases of attacks on women last year, including molestation, assault and verbal molestation. Consider that this year, this number has already crossed 500 and one can see the rise in the number of cases. We must also take into consideration that these are reported cases, so many are not reported at all. This incident has to spur on greater security measures and not become yet another statistic in the railway books.