Home Guards deployed in trains for women safety have begun allowing men to board compartments reserved specially and only for women
The Home Guards, which is a unit of the General Railway Police, who escort the women’s compartments in night trains, have recently been allowing male trespassers to board, and travel in compartments reserved only for women. The Times of India came across two such instances, both on the Harbour line, on trains running from CST to Andheri.
The first incident took place on 15th March on the 11:02pm train, when a policeman let an old man board the compartment, spoke with him, and even ushered him to a seat, and let the man travel till Bandra. When women commuters questioned the policeman, he said “he is an old man. Has he done anything wrong that I should ask him to alight?”
Another incident took place on 9th April, on the 10:37pm train, from CST to Andheri. The guard on that train allowed a man to accompany his wife, infant, and his mother, in the women’s compartment. He travelled from Wadala to Bandra, and repeatedly kissed his child, while looking at the women sitting opposite.
When other women commuters objected, and asked him to follow the rules, and not make his own, he moved the family to the rear of the coach and said “he is escorting his old mother, hence i am allowing him”.
Sunil Bhamre, a GRP officer who rosters 210 teams of homeguards, has promised an inquiry. He said “we have not received a complaint on our helplines, but we will direct homeguards to follow the rules.”
Another female commuter, about 20 years old, reported being molested during the peak hour, by supposedly blind beggar, on 2nd February
Men dressed as eunuchs too are known to regularly touch women, on the pretext that they are giving them a “blessing”.