A group of eunuchs allegedly entered the general compartments of Vasco-Hazrat Nizamuddin Goa Express,beat up passengers and extorted money from them on Monday morning,it is learnt. Commuters complained that while they had been regularly harassed by eunuchs on the train,the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and the Government Railway Police (GRP) never took the matter seriously. On Monday too,the police did not lodge a formal complaint,they alleged.
According to the passengers,the train departed from Pune station at 4.15 am and all was well till it reached Shrirampur at 9 am. There were some eunuchs already on the train but they were just asking for money without troubling passengers much. However,when the train reached Shrirampur,a group of seven eunuchs boarded the general compartments and started beating up travellers who refused to give them money. They hurled abuses at the passengers and extorted Rs 50-100 from each of them. Those who resisted were slapped,punched and humiliated, Ramesh K R,a passenger,told Newsline Ramesh said the eunuchs didnt even spare women. If the men accompanying them hesitated to pay,they threatened and abused the women passengers. The ordeal continued for about 45 minutes after which the eunuchs deboarded the train at Kopergaon.
The passengers said they approached the police at the Kopergaon station,but they failed to address the issue. While the railway administration and the RPF claim to have conducted several drives to check the menace,the problem continues to persist. The problem,passengers said,was most serious on Pune-Mumbai trains.
Siddharth Sharma,a bank employee who travels frequently between the two cities,said,I am a witness to innumerable instances when passengers were beaten up by eunuchs or men posing as eunuchs who try to earn easy money. RPF or GRP men also do not take serious cognisance of the matter when approached. The situation is so bad that passengers consider paying the eunuchs instead of going to the police.
A K Roy,Divisional Commissioner,RPF,said,We carry out routine checks and pick up eunuchs who trouble passengers. We book them under relevant Sections of the law and they are produced before a magistrate for extorting money from passengers.
Coordination panels to facilitate EWS admissions after July 31
Students belonging to economically weaker sections (EWS) of the society will be allowed admissions even after the July 31 deadline. To facilitate the process,a coordination committees will be set up,said primary education department officials.
We have given instructions to all education officers and block education officers to form such committees in all areas. The committee will have five members. This will help in effective implementation of RTE in all schools, said Mahavir Mane,director,Primary Education.
Mane said almost 43 per cent of the seats reserved for EWS students have been filled in the district.
There was some confusion among private schools due to the earlier admission schedule. I want to clarify that there is no deadline for admission of EWS students. If the reserved seats remain vacant,they will not be converted into general seats under any circumstances, said Mane.
The coordination committee will take up issues related to admission of EWS students and solve them.
The applicants will be given admission at a school near their residence, said Mane.
Meanwhile,the primary education department will organising a two-day workshop on Effective Implementation of RTE. On August 2 and 3,we will organise a workshop for all education officers,joint directors and directors in the city. At the workshop,various problems related to the implementation of RTE will be discussed, added Mane.
Force One SX and EX variants launched in Pune
The market for Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) in the rural markets seems to be on the rise.
Addressing the media at the launch of the Force One SX and EX variants in Pune on Monday,Prasun Firodia,managing director of Force Motors,said SUVs cater to the needs and aspiration of rural market in more than one ways. He said with farmers enjoying prosperity,their appetite for bigger and better vehicles is growing. Farmers are enjoying prosperity,thanks to good rains this year. The SUVs in many ways epitomises the rural gentry, he said.
The company,which ventured into the SUV sector in 2011,has managed to get more than 2,500 vehicles on roads. Firodia said the company plans to reach the 5,000 mark towards the end of this fiscal.
To ensure better footfall for the market,the company plans to increase its presence, he said.
Firodia announced an increase in the dealership presence also. At present,we have 25 dealers in the state. We intend to increase it to 50 by year-end, he added. The vehicles would be manufactured in both the Akurdi an Pithampur plants of the company.According to Firodia,Force One,the SUV wing of the company,has managed to capture substantial part of the market. The company would launch three more variants in the next few months. The EX model is priced at Rs 8.99 lakh (ex-showroom Pune).