In yet another reminder of how unsafe women are while travelling in public transport systems across India, a 22-year-old Mumbai woman's Facebook post recounting the horror of a man publicly masturbating at her on a local train and the railway police laughing off her complaint has gone viral. While the incident took place on 15 June, she decided to open up on the social networking site on Thursday.
On that day, the woman was travelling back to her home in Mulund after meeting her friends in Borivali. Boarding a Dadar-bound local, she sat in ladies compartment which was separated from the handicap compartment by just a railing. She also noted that another lady sat on her left, while the compartment also had five other women at the time. The culprit, standing in the handicap compartment, was facing the lady who was seated on the left. The woman wrote in her Facebook post:
"I'm looking at my phone and I see him waving at the girl through the railing. He's put his hands through and has reached half the distance to the girl's face. I cannot hear him, I'm wearing headphones. I reduce the music, out of curiosity and also to see whether she needs help, I do not turn. Looking down at my phone, I hear him calling her m******d. I heard it at least six times in the 30 seconds I listened. I looked at him, our eyes met and I looked down again (sic)."
Initially, the woman ignored the man, considering him to be mentally challenged. However, he went on to repeat the same act with the author of the post.
However, the author's ordeal didn't end there. The man flashed her and began masturbating in full public view. The complainant further wrote on her post:
"When Kandivli came, the man got out of the compartment and started walking towards the doors of the ladies compartment. Six women who could easily take him down, started yelling. I stood up and walked towards the door. He told me he would rape me. I told him to do it. (I only did so because I knew he wouldn't and because the time permitted me, so did the space.) (sic)"
However, the railway police, instead of helping her, showed utter insensitivity. The woman wrote that after getting hold of the railway police's helpline number, she made a frantic call for help, but her plea was laughed off by the person on the helpline.
"I told the person on the line all the details. The train was just approaching Kandivli. Which compartment, what time. All of it. Then I told him that this person had also called us what he did. And then the person on the helpline laughed. He found it funny. I asked him whether they'd pick this person up at Kandivli. He cut the call (sic)."
After the post went viral, the Western Railway has taken cognisance of the incident. According to The Times of India, Deputy Commissioner of Police Purushottam Karad promised to look into the matter.
"We have to check which helpline the woman commuter made the call to. There are two helpline numbers — one is railway police and the other is Railway Protection Force (RPF). We will talk to the woman," Karad was quoted as saying.
Updated Date: Jul 09, 2017 17:49 PM