After the death of the Delhi gang-rape victim, fear spread among Mumbai’s local train commuters and they have demanded for tighter security measures. The Government Railway Police (GRP) posted officers in plain clothes at railway platforms yesterday to monitor the cases of sexual harassment on railway premises.
GRP authorities have also decided to post officers in plain clothes near the ladies compartments. “This will enable us to monitor activities like a regular passenger. Appropriate action will be taken against teasers, who will be caught red-handed when they try to assault female passengers,” said a senior GRP official, on condition of anonymity.
Female passengers have been asked to lodge complaints with the GRP police instead of ignoring the incident. “We have already placed our staff at major stations, especially during peak hours,” said DCP GS Bhandare, GRP.
According to the GRP statistics, 19 cases of molestation were registered this year, compared to only eight last year. “Thousands of complaints go unregistered because women commuters are scared of police formalities,” said a senior GRP official, on condition of anonymity.
According to Nishika Rao, a Western Railway commuter, the staff doesn’t take complaints seriously. “Something should be done to make us feel comfortable,” she says.
The Railway Protection Force (RPF) has deployed Mahila Vahini at major railway stations for the security of female passengers. Central Railway has 96, while Western Railway has 67 Mahina Vahini staff. On an average, 20 lakh female passengers commute daily by local trains. There is 344 GRP staff deployed on escorting duties for female passengers in the night, and 50 more personnel on night rounds from each division.
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