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Minor girl spends night at Pitampura metro station as Delhi cops refuse custody

Delhi Police reportedly refused to take custody of the 15-year-old girl as they did not have a woman constable available. The girl had been separated from her friend while travelling in Delhi Metro.

delhi Updated: Oct 09, 2017 12:49 IST
Faizan Haidar
Faizan Haidar
Hindustan Times
Delhi news,Delhi metro,Pitampura metro station
The girl was found by CISF who sweep the station at night after the train services are terminated. (Saumya Khandelwal/HT FILE)

A 15-year-old girl, who got separated from her friend while travelling in the Delhi Metro, had to spend a night at a metro station as the Delhi Police could not take her custody because there was no woman constable.

A woman constable of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) turned saviour by feeding her dinner and keeping the girl under her watch on September 25 night at Pitampura Metro station. The incident took place when the train services had terminated.

“We conduct sweeping of stations after the train services are terminated. During the exercise, soon after midnight, the staff at Pitampura metro station saw a girl sitting alone at platform number 2. She was brought to the control room where she said that she was waiting for her male friend. We immediately called the police,” said a CISF officer, who is not authorised to speak to the media.

But the Delhi Police reportedly refused to take the custody as they did not have any woman officer at that time. According to rules, the presence of female staff is mandatory while taking the custody of a girl whether she is an accused or a victim.

“The Delhi Police requested us to keep the girl with a female constable of the CISF. We agreed and our constable was asked to sit in front of CCTV camera near the ladies frisking booth so that their movement can be monitored. In the morning, the girl was handed over to the police,” CISF spokesperson Hemendra Singh said.

DCP (Metro) Pankaj Singh confirmed the incident and said that on that particular night, a female staff was not present at Rithala police station, under whose jurisdiction Pitampura Metro station is located. Singh said police took her custody the following morning and produced her before the Child Welfare Committee. The CWC sent her to a children’s home till the next date of hearing.

“We usually hand over the missing child to the family and if we are unable to find the family, we drop the child to the nearest shelter home,” said a Delhi Police officer, who did not wish to be named.

With 28 lakh passengers travelling every day and 20% of them usually first timers, every day the CISF receives at least two cases of people getting separated from their relatives. While their main job is to secure the Metro premises, such cases are taken on priority basis as delay may affect the investigation.

Officer said that most of them get separated due to automatic doors and crowded Metro stations. Last year, over 100 kids were reunited with their parents.

“In 2016, we reunited 106 children with their parents, while this year till June, 60 children have been reunited. Apart from this, over 100 adults have been reunited with their families from 2016 till date. We have trained our staff to identify people roaming alone. It is a misconception that only children are vulnerable. In Metro, many first timers from other states come and often get separated,” the CISF official said.

First Published: Oct 09, 2017 12:46 IST