The Delhi Metro may seem like a safe mode of travel. But experiences of many female commuters tell otherwise.
They say harassment by fellow male commuters is common and many men travel freely in an inebriated state on the Metro rail.
“I have experienced eve-teasing quite a few times,” said Geeta Bisht, a 26-year-old schoolteacher.
“I was on my way from Barakhamba station to Karol Bagh around 8 p.m. when I encountered a man who kept trying to place his hand wherever I would place mine. It was only when I scolded him that he backed off,” she added.
Hardly any security personnel are on duty at the platform during the late hours, she said.
Prerna Saxena, a 20-year-old student of School of Open Learning, Delhi University, too has faced problem in the Metro.
“I have encountered a man in an inebriated state, falling all over the place, and making obscene remarks at me and other women. We were on the train and there were no security personnel. By the time we reached our station, the man had disappeared,” she said.
When asked, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation spokesperson Anuj Dayal maintained that Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel generally stop drunken men who try to enter Metro stations.
However, when Hindustan Times talked to security personnel, many of them were not even aware that drunken behaviour on the Metro is a punishable offence.
A CISF personnel on duty at Rajiv Chowk, who did not wish to be named as he was not authorised to speak to the media, said drunken behaviour on the Metro was not an offence. Clearly, he had not read the Delhi Metro Rail (Operations & Maintenance) Act, 2002.
Also, the CISF does not maintain any record of such offences.
CISF spokesperson Rohit Katiyar said: “We do not keep records of eve-teasing or misbehavior by drunk men. Such records are kept with the DMRC. And if we find such people, we put them forth to DMRC.”
The metro spokesperson stressed that the Delhi metro was a safe mode of transport for women.
“We do not get many cases of eve-teasing or drunk men travelling in the metro trains. The metro is a safe mode of travel, and there are only two or three such cases reported in a year,” Dayal maintained.