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Ludhiana: Safety compromised as male passengers travel in women-only coach

It has become a common sight in the Ludhiana-bound trains wherein male passengers occupy the coaches reserved for women and the women passengers are left high and dry. 

punjab Updated: May 21, 2018 15:22 IST
Amarpal Singh
Amarpal Singh
Hindustan Times, Ludhiana
Safety compromised,male passengers in women-only coaches,Ludhiana
Disregarding the ‘women-only’ sign, male passengers queue up to board a compartment of the Malwa express at the Ludhiana railway station on Sunday. (Gurpreet Singh/HT )

In what raises serious questions over the safety in trains, the coach reserved for women passengers are mostly occupied by men and authorities concerned have failed to check such violations at the city railway station.

It has become a common sight in the Ludhiana-bound trains wherein male passengers occupy the coaches reserved for women and the women passengers are left high and dry.

On Sunday afternoon, the woman coach of Malwa Express (12920) running from Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine, Katra, to Indore was occupied by the male passengers travelling to Madhya Pradesh. There was a huge rush of male passengers in the coach and it was difficult to find any female passenger in the woman coach.

Surprisingly, there is always a train guard and cops of railway protection force and government railway police travel in trains and the women-only coach is located next to the guard room but still there was no action.

However, the Railway Act says that if a male passenger is found travelling in women-only coach or in that room, a case under 162 (Entering carriage or other place reserved for females) of the act is registered against the offender. As per the data from Ludhiana Railway Protection Force (RPF) department, in the last three months, 73 people were arrested of which 66 were fined and seven are undertrials.

Satinder Kaur, a passenger travelling to Delhi via Malwa Express said nowadays it is difficult to get a seat in reserved coaches due to a huge waiting list and the general coaches are always occupied.

“We are left with the women-only coach in the train but it is also occupied by the male passengers. The tall claims of railway ministry to provide security to women in trains have taken a back seat,” she said.

Another passenger Gorika, who was waiting at station to catch a train said, “I occasionally travel to Saharanpur from Ludhiana with my kids and due to lack of security personnel in the train, I feel scared to argue with male passengers or ask them to vacate the seats,” she said.

Despite repeated attempts, Vivek Kumar, divisional railway manager, could not be contacted.

First Published: May 21, 2018 15:22 IST