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New squad to reduce travel terror

Responding to Hindustan Times’ campaign for securing women passengers on Mumbai’s local trains, Central Railway and Railway Protection Force (RPF) have decided to deploy Tejaswini Squad in the women’s compartments. The squad includes 10 teams, each comprising two women ticket examiners and two women RPF constables will patrol each women’s compartments to restrict unauthorised travellers.

mumbai Updated: Nov 04, 2011 02:00 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times

Responding to Hindustan Times’ campaign for securing women passengers on Mumbai’s local trains, Central Railway and Railway Protection Force (RPF) have decided to deploy Tejaswini Squad in the women’s compartments. The squad includes 10 teams, each comprising two women ticket examiners and two women RPF constables will patrol each women’s compartments to restrict unauthorised travellers.

Vidyadhar Malegaonkar, CPRO of Central Railway informed, “We have prepared this squad to ensure safety of women passengers. The squad will be deployed on the Harbour and Central lines. The teams will be particularly looking for unauthorised travellers such as drug addicts, urchins, vendors and eunuchs. We want to ensure that there such elements don’t harass women passengers in these women’s compartments.” The teams will patrol women’s compartments and will also be stationed on railway platforms.

Central Railway’s security measures for women commuters were questioned after a 23-year-old woman was attacked and robbed by unidentified person on a train reaching CST on October 8.

Anil Sharma, inspector general of RPF, CR, said, “We received orders from the Bombay high court to heighten women passengers’ security after HT ran a campaign highlighting the plight of women commuters. The Government Railway Police is responsible for patrolling on local trains, but we don’t want to leave any stone unturned on our part.”

Western Railway too has deployed a similar squad, ‘Surkashini’, which includes 50 women RPF constables and women ticket examiners. It has also started an awareness campaign through newspapers advertisement and banners, asking male commuters to stay out of women’s coaches.

Sharat Chandrayan, WR, CPRO, said, “We had recently conducted a survey of women passengers travelling on suburban trains. Women passengers raised the issue of unauthorised commuters in women’s coaches, following which we started an awareness campaign to make trains safer for women.”

First Published: Nov 04, 2011 01:59 IST