Mumbai: Is Metro safe? Asks woman commuter after alleged molestation

Updated: Nov 28, 2017, 10:00 IST | Hemal Ashar | Mumbai

Woman commuter writes complaint letter of harassment; activists, victim worried complaint should not be lost in jurisdiction jungle

A Metro commuter, Cynthia Lobo Nair, has written a complaint letter to the security in-charge of Metro One, accusing a commuter of harassment. In her letter, Marol resident, Cynthia says the incident took place on November 24, while travelling in the Metro from Marol Naka to the Western Express Highway.

Ravi Nair and Cynthia Lobo Nair
Ravi Nair and Cynthia Lobo Nair

We quote from Cynthia's letter: 'As I boarded the Metro train from Marol Naka I was standing near the end of the seat where this person was seated. (Cynthia has attached his picture, which she managed to take on her cellphone). He tried touching my feet with his feet..."

Known offender?
In her letter Cynthia added that at first, she thought it was a mistake and moved her feet. Yet, he tried to do so again and she realised he was trying to do this on purpose. The letter goes on to say that she had run into this person twice before, and got negative vibes from him. It ends by requesting the Metro officials to keep an eye on him. Cynthia said that, "I did talk to officials and the Western Express Highway station. One of the customer care officials in fact told me that they had cautioned him earlier and he had given them in writing that he will not repeat this."

Right way
Ravi Nair, Cynthia's husband said, "I urged her to file a complaint adding that, "everybody has a right to live in safety and peacefully. We need to speak up when we see or experience wrongs. Unfortunately, people believe that the system is slower than the culprit and they are cynical and do not speak up. I am proud of my wife, always have been."

Police action
Meanwhile Dolphy D'Souza, activist and convenor, Police Reforms Watch, said that, "We urge the Mumbai police to come down heavily on rogues like these, otherwise such perverts become monsters at a later stage."

The response
Dolphy had also tweeted on November 25, to the Police Commissioner to take appropriate action. Dolphy said, "I am worried the complaint may be bounced off different authorities with each one saying this is the responsibility of the other. I want to know who is responsible for the security of women while travelling in the Metro. Is it the Mumbai Police or Railway Police or any other authority? Because this complaint should not be lost in the jungle of jurisdiction."

The Metro responded yesterday (Monday) evening in a tweet saying that Cynthia is requested to register an FIR and all necessary assistance will be provided to the police by the Mumbai Metro. Ravi though says, "In place of advising us to directly file a FIR Metro can keep an eye on this person as they know his timings. They can warn him. The Metro too can go ahead and file an FIR as this has happened in the Metro premises."

Mumbai Metro says
A Mumbai Metro One spokesperson said, "We requested the lady to file a First Information Report (FIR) with the authorities as it is a legal offence and does not fall under the jurisdiction of the Metro. We will provide all the assistance to authorities regarding it. We have also extended support to the lady by accompanying her to the police station so that the case can reach a legal conclusion."


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