A 27-year-old woman jumped out of a moving train with her 10-month-old baby and husband after she was allegedly molested by a group of inebriated co-passengers in West Bengal’s Alipurduar, police said on Wednesday.
The incident once again underlined the lack of safety in the country’s railways, which has been dogged by a series of similar incidents in the recent past.
The woman, who suffered multiple injuries, is undergoing treatment at the railway hospital in Alipurduar, around 600 kms to the north of Kolkata.
Police said that the couple managed to walk about two kms through dense forests to reach the nearest Rajabhatkhawa railway station from where they were shifted to Alipurduar by railway authorities.
The couple, hailing from Dinhata in Coochbehar district, had boarded the train at Ghaziabad where they work in a brick kiln.
“An enquiry has been started and a manhunt to nab the culprits has been launched with the help of local police,” said Mukul Chandra Medhi, the additional security commissioner of Railway Protection Force (RPF) said over phone.
Police quoted the couple as saying that a group of 10 to 12 passengers, most of them youngsters and allegedly inebriated, had started harassing the woman from the start of their journey.
“After most of the passengers in the general compartment disembarked at Siliguri, the passengers became more aggressive,” police quoted the husband as saying.
According to the couple, the RPF guards also got down at Siliguri.
The accused allegedly threatened to tie up the husband and gangrape the woman, forcing them to jump out in panic, police added.
The couple told police that they had got down at the New Hasimara railway station and told the train’s guard about the harassment.
However, the guard asked them to lodge a complaint at the next stop Alipurduar, a distance of 35 km.
When they returned to their compartment the harassment increased as their co-passengers turned more aggressive.
“We jumped out of the running train out of fear,” police quoted the woman as saying.
The spot where they jumped out is located in an elephant corridor and the train runs at a maximum speed of 30 km per hour.