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Brave faces of women

Travelling in a local train for ladies has become risky but there are women who stand up against all odds, reports Megha Sood.

india Updated: Feb 02, 2007 23:23 IST
Megha Sood

“That vagabond just boarded the ladies compartment and I went to stop him he manhandled me. No one from the compartment or the platform came to help. This has become a common phenomenon in the local trains which has been neglected by the authorities,” said professor Anita Rane.  
 
Travelling in a local train for ladies these days has become very risky but there are women who to protect their rights will stand up against all odds. In one such cases a professor, who was on board the Chuchgate local train on Friday morning had an encounter, which she said is unforgettable.

On Friday, as usual Rane, resident of Malad boarded the ladies first class compartment of the 7.23am Churchgate local train. She had not even made herself comfortable when a vagabond boarded the same compartment and within seconds he started creating a nuisance.

“The man was not civilized like other daily travelers at all. He looked like he wanted to create nuisance. When I saw him inside the train had already started but had not picked up speed. I told him to get off but he did not listen. When all my attempts failed in talking him out I pushed him outside but he stopped me and held my hand tightly and manhandled me. Not just that he even abused the other ladies present there,” said Rane, who is the head of Ancient Indian culture department in St. Xavier College located in Churchgate.
 
“Finally at Goregaon station I managed to get off the train along with him as I was wearing trousers and in spite of the scene that had been created nobody on the platform or from the train came forward to help me. I called for security but unfortunately none was available. The Railway Police Force officers were not present on duty. After a little tussle between us a man came to rescue me. We took the tramp to the Andheri Railway police station and got him arrested but there too when I told the police to register a complaint of manhandling me they refused saying that I should be complaining to the police and not them because that does not come under their department,” added Rane.

“It is not at safe for the ladies to travel now days as the security on the platforms is not at all proper. It was the duty of the RPF to take the matter further and punish the man but instead they just washed their hands off the case,” Rane said.
 
When contacted the RPF, the inchrage of the railway police station George Verghese said that the man had been arrested by them but only prosecuted for boarding the ladies compartment, “It is not umder the RPF authority to register an FIR. Rane should have made a complaint to the police if she had been manhandled. The man has been fined for getting inside the ladies compartment of a local train,” said Verghese.