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Your train journeys are now safer: Special Mumbai police squads tackle molesters, flashers

During peak hours, the squad will mingle among the crowds on the platforms and keep an eye out for trouble

mumbai Updated: Aug 14, 2017 10:27 IST
Megha Sood
Megha Sood
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,train commute,Mumbai commute
Teams of five plainclothes officers are currently patrolling platforms from Ambernath to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) and from Virar to Churchgate. They are also stationed inside the trains to nab such miscreants.(HT File)

Worried about taking that late train home? Don’t be.The government railway police (GRP) has launched special teams of officers to keep you safe.

This comes after incidents of flashing and molestation were reported on Mumbai’s locals.Teams of five plainclothes officers are currently patrolling platforms from Ambernath to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) and from Virar to Churchgate. They are also stationed inside the trains to nab such miscreants.

The teams mostly comprise women officers and staff.

The GRP squad will work with railway protection force (RPF) officers to act quickly in cases of sexual assault, especially those that occur during non-peak hours. They will record the incident and then arrest the accused on the spot. During peak hours, the squad will mingle among the crowds on the platforms and keep an eye out for trouble.

The squad recently arrested a hawker after an 18-year-old woman said he touched her inappropriately at Dadar railway station.

On hearing her screams, they rushed to the spot and found Balshamji Jaiswal, 25, trying to flee.Jaiswal, a Titwala resident, was held under section 354 (outraging the modesty of a woman) of the Indian Penal Code, said the police.

“We want women to raise an alarm if they are molested, harassed or even if they are witness to such incidents. We will take care of the rest,” said an officer, who did not wish to be identified. The GRP said it receives at least one complaint of molestation daily.

Squad members said they will also encourage women to raise an alarm if they notice their fellow commuters being teased. Police have complied a database of repeat offenders so they can be identified easily.

Samadhan Pawar, deputy commissioner of police, central railway, said that after a 28-year-old man was arrested for kissing a government staffer at CSMT, they increased patrolling four-fold.

“We taking measures to keep women safe,” said Pawar.

Machindra Chavan, assistant commissioner of police, CSMT, said that though the police are constantly vigilant, it is difficult for them to keep a check on every station’s entry and exit points.

First Published: Aug 14, 2017 10:27 IST