The Vashi Government Railway Police (GRP) have prepared a sketch of the man who molested the 25-year-old woman from Nerul in a local train on June 19.
The police also accompanied the victim to Nerul station around 5 am on Thursday to see whether she could spot the accused.
Following reports about the callousness of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel in helping the victim, the Turbhe RPF swung into action after some women at Koparkhairane station complained about a man who would pull down his trousers in front of them.
The police arrested a 22-year-old man, Vithal Gaikwad, but said it is not the same man who molested the Nerul resident.
Baldev Bhujbal, senior police inspector of Vashi GRP, said: “He is not the same person. But he too has been behaving vulgarly at the station since a few days. We will soon arrest the other accused. We have already released his sketches to other police stations.”
“We accompanied the woman and arrested Gaikwad. He used to stand near the ladies’ first-class compartment, pull out his phone and suddenly speak loudly to attract the women’s attention. When they looked at him, he would pull down his trousers,” said Sandeep Pawar, police inspector, Turbhe RPF.
Vithal was handed over to the Vashi railway police who have registered a case under section 509 (word, gesture of act to outrage the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code.
Officers with the RPF said they are looking into the matter and would take action against the personnel involved as soon as he is identified.
‘The incident still haunts me’
I left Nerul early on Sunday for Pune, to take the National Eligibility Test (NET). There is a train at 5.09 am, but I reached the station at 5.10 am.
I saw another train approaching, and ran to catch it. I entered the first compartment I could get to.
I thought it was empty, but as the train left the station, I heard a voice behind me. There was a man in the compartment; I don’t know whether he got in at Nerul or had already been there.
He started approaching me, and I sensed something was wrong. He came up to me, unzipped his pants and said: “Touch it”.
I refused. He was in his late 20s, well-dressed, smelled good, spoke English, seemed educated and was smoking.
He said if I didn’t let him touch me, he would throw me out. I tried to push him away. In the process, I dropped my cellphone.
He let me pick it up; he wasnot interested in stealing it.
The train was pulling into Juinagar. I tried to distract him verbally and threw myself out at Juinagar station. I didn’t check whether he got off.
I got into another compartment that had people and sat in a daze till I reached Thane.
At Thane, I met my friend and we decided to file a complaint with the Railway Police Force. But one of their officials asked: “Were you robbed? Were you raped? If not, why are you lodging a complaint?”
Angry, we decided to carry on to Pune or we’d miss the test.
I filed a complaint the next day with the Government Railway Police, who were willing to listen.
The incident haunts me —every time I see a man smoking, some times when I’m alone. I always look for people in the compartment first before I enter a train.
In the newspapers, I read about women’s bodies being found in trains, and I can’t help thinking it could have been me. It can happen to any woman.
(As told to Uzra Khan)