Rising crimes in local trains alarm commuters, alert police
UNSAFE TRAVEL Forty-four people were robbed and nine women molested in trains last year
The local trains, the lifeline of the city, are said to be the cheapest, safest and most convenient mode of transportation.
The statistics available with gover nment railway police (GRP) show that the train commute has become unsafe.
According to police sources, as many as 185 people lost their valuables such as jewellery, cash and laptops while travelling by train last year in Navi Mumbai. Forty-four people were robbed and nine women molested by co-passengers in trains.
While the passengers blame the railway police for not taking measures to prevent crimes, the police blame commuters.
“Travelling in local trains, especially early mornings and late nights, is risky. Men get into the ladies compartments and occupy the seats. The women commuters are too scared to protest and stop the people from entering the compartments. What is worse, the GRP guards are not present in the compartments,” said Rani Patil, 32, a resident of Panvel.
Rakesh Singh, 45, a resident of Kamothe, who travels from Mansarovar to CST every day.
“We have seen several com- muters drinking and smoking in trains while crossing the stretch between Vashi and Mankhurd at night. These commuters stand near doors and continue with their noisy conversations without bothering about other people,” said Singh.
In June 2014, two robbers slit the throat of an engineering student in a train near Ghansoli station when he was coming home from his hostel. He was taken to a hospital in Thane by a GRP official. But, he died before reaching the hospital.
In August last year, a businessman was looted of 2.980 kgs of gold jewellery near Panvel while he was in a train.
Ritesh Ahire, public relations officer of GRP, Mumbai, said, “We are taking the help of CCTV footage to solve molestation cases. Conviction rates of our charge-sheeted cases in 2015 in 81%.”
Nitin Bobade, senior police inspector of Vashi GRP, said that even commuters should be vigilant and not keep valuables on racks above.
“Crimes in trains take place mostly during peak hours — from 8am to 11am and from 5pm to 8.30pm,” he added.
Bobade added that three armed constables are deployed in trains between 9pm and 6am to ensure commuters’ safety.
Rajashree Pande, 25, a resident of Belapur, said that policemen deployed in ladies compartments are of no use.
“The policemen are not helpful. They just stand at the door. Many of them behave rudely when asked for help. We want officers to be posted who can understand the problems of women and handle them,” she said.