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Women safety calls for additional requirement of 7,200 railway police officers

Afternoon Despatch and Courier 2017-12-07 00:00:00

A RTI query has brought to light the issue of women security in ladies coaches in Mumbai's local trains as reports had claimed that there was no security guard in the compartment when an incident took place last weekend

Four days after a woman passenger had been pushed off a local train by a thief at Juinagar railway station in Navi Mumbai, after which the victim lost her purse, mobile and other valuables, in a development where women security is being heightened, a Right to Information (RTI) query has revealed that around 4,000 posts in the Mumbai division Government Railway Police (GRP) have been sanctioned for approval towards ensuring the safety of women, out of which 500 positions are left vacant.

This RTI query has brought to light the issue of women security in ladies coaches in Mumbai's local trains as reports had claimed that there was no security guard in the compartment when the incident occurred, last weekend.

The victim Rutuja Bodake had attempted to fight the robber between Nerul and Juinagar, but she was pushed off the train when the incident took place at around 11:30 pm on November 3. The victim was travelling from Panvel to Vashi and is presently being treated at a private hospital in Vashi.

Two days after an unidentified man attacked, robbed a woman and pushed her off a moving train at Juinagar railway station, the police are yet to arrest the accused. The Government Railway Police and the Railway Police Force have formed seven teams to nab the accused.

Railway and RTI activist Samir Zaveri has filed a RTI query with the Government Railway Police Commissioner's Mumbai office, seeking to know the number of posts vacant in the Railway Police.  

In a reply, the Railway Commissioner Office stated that around 4,000 posts have been approved for the Government Railway Police in the Mumbai Division, out of which 500 posts are vacant. However, a report by the Government Railway Police commissioner, Mumbai, to the Maharashtra state has sought for an addition of 7,200 police staff personnel required for women passenger safety, prevention of crime, detection of crime etc.

“In the Mumbai suburban trains section, such incidents happen quite frequently. However, the government has not been taking it seriously and is not even appointing the said 7,200 Government Railway Police staff. The 500 vacant posts also remain unoccupied as yet, and on the other hand, the government states that 20,000 people will be employed with the bullet train services. The Government must rather prioritise and ensure safety of female passengers with the appointment of 500 railway police persons to fill the positions along with the appointment of 7,200 government police officials for Mumbai's suburban trains,” Zaveri told this newspaper.

Amit Jaiswal, another activist had written to the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis highlighting the issue of the women safety in local trains and sought to appoint more staff in the railway police.