The Mumbai Police has written to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to ensure adequate security at several subways and skywalks in the city, in the light of the alleged molestation of a college student inside the Metro Cinema Subway in South Mumbai in January.
“We have identified some spots where illumination is low. We have written to the BMC to ensure proper lighting and security guards at skywalks and several subways including the ones at Metro Cinema and the Churchgate railway station,” said Mumbai Police spokesperson DCP Dhananjay Kulkarni.
The Azad Maidan police station, where the crime was registered, also wrote to the BMC last week, asking that additional CCTV cameras and security guards be put in place to avoid a repeat such an incident. In its letter to the BMC, the police said incidents of anti-social elements and drug addicts misbehaving with women girls using the subway were on the rise, referring to the incident of January 30 when an unemployed man named Mohammad Hussain allegedly molested a college student. He was later arrested.
Noting that the molestation cases were a serious issue, the police wrote, “It is possible that incidents of rape or physical harm to women commuters could take place.” The police have asked the BMC to install CCTV cameras at the station and at least four security guards inside the premises. “We have made certain proposals for the security of the subway. I am not aware of the details,” said Surendra Chavan, Assistant Municipal Commissioner of BMC’s A Ward.
The police said criminals could use the subway’s nine entrances to their advantage to escape. The police also claimed that the subway was currently manned by one private security guard.
“The subway is so poorly lit inside that the security guard cannot see what is happening a few feet ahead of him,” said Vijay Kadam, senior inspector, Azad Maidan police station.
The BMC has, however, contracted a private security firm to provide four guards in two eight-hour shifts each inside the subway, which remains closed from 10 pm to 8 am.
The two guards present on Wednesday afternoon said it took them 30 minutes to complete one patrol.