In a new initiative started by the Mumbai police, all access points to railway platforms will now have a police constable noting details of women commuters travelling between 11 pm and 9 am.
The constables posted at the exits — around the point where the commuters take a rickshaw, taxi or any other public transport — will record details of the woman commuter’s destination, with the police also noting the details of the vehicle availed. This, the police say is a fall-out of the murder of a woman techie in January this year. The techie had availed the service of a former porter-turned car driver, who had ferried her to Kanjurmarg and raped and murdered her. Her charred body was found off the service road in the eastern stretch of Mumbai, several kilometres away her actual destination at Andheri.
Police said the constable will record the details in a register, with their police wireless networks also put to use to ensure that the commuter’s destination details are updated within the jurisdiction concerned. Among the details commuters will be expected to share are name, age, address, destination and mobile number. The police personnel present at the spot will then record the registration number of the vehicle taken with the details of the driver.
“This is being purely done as a safety measure to ensure that the women reach their destination safely,” said Dr B Upadhyay, joint commissioner of police (traffic).
The police have started this exercise at six major railway stations like CST, Churchgate, Kurla LTT, Bandra, Andheri and Borivali earlier last week. The exercise is only for those women commuters who are spotted traveling alone, at odd hours.
“We cannot keep a check on each taxi or auto but we can at least know the identity details of the woman commuter,” said a police officer from Borivali police station.This exercise he says is not meant to “intrude” on any individual but for security reasons.
Upadhyay said that he had instructed all his constables to make sure that the passengers do not get into a taxi or autorickshaw outside the vehicle stand.
“The traffic police have started to collate information of vehicles stationed at every stand,” added Upadhyay. To ensure real-time-action if a situation were to arise, the traffic police also has officially acquired access to registration database with the Regional Transport Office on all the public transport vehicles plying within the city limits.