When a 24-year-old woman commuter called the Government Railway Police (GRP) helpline after being hit by a stone while travelling in a local train in Thane, she was told there was nothing that could be done.
The apathetic behaviour of the GRP comes on the heels of an incident that took place last week, when some police officials discouraged Prisca Moniz, 45, from lodging a complaint against a tout.
In the latest example of police indifference, the victim, Apurva Gaikwad, 24, was returning to her Badlapur residence in a fast local at around 7.53pm. Gaikwad was standing near the door in the coach adjacent to the motorman’s when the train crossed a tunnel near Diva station.
“The moment the train crossed the tunnel, someone hurled a stone at the coach that hit me after hitting the iron-rod. I sustained an injury on my nose and began to feel dizzy. The women in the compartment held me and provided water,” Gaikwad told HT on Saturday.
As the train stopped at Dombivli, she approached the motorman for help. “The motorman laughed it off saying he could not do anything and asked me to get my nose checked by a doctor,” Gaikwad said. The attendant who answered the GRP helpline number claimed similar helplessness, saying she should contact the Thane GRP.
“It was appalling to get such a negative response from the attendant. I found no point arguing and disconnected the call,” said Gaikwad.
She continued the journey with a bleeding nose and received first aid from a local doctor.
When contacted, GS Bhandare, deputy commissioner of police, GRP, said, “The woman should have filed an FIR at the Thane police station after which action would have been taken against the assailant. We cannot conduct any inquiry against police personnel over the allegation unless there is an FIR.”
Bhandare said the GRP helpline is there to guide victims through the process of registering a complaint. “If the woman is grievously injured and admitted to the hospital, we could send a police constable to record her statement,” said Bhandare.