A 30-year-old man was arrested on Monday, two days after he allegedly masturbated in front of a woman in a local train. The woman had filmed the man exposing himself indecently before her and shared it on social media. According to the police, the accused, Krupa Patel, had boarded a Harbour line train bound for CBD Belpaur at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus (CSMT) at 10 am on Saturday. The police said his compartment was separated from the women’s compartment by a metal grille, through which he could see a woman seated inside.
Sanjay Shinde, senior inspector, CSMT railway police station, said that Patel approached the grill and facing the woman, unzipped his pants and allegedly began to masturbate in front of the woman. Shocked, the woman took out her cell phone and filmed the accused before he alighted at Masjid Bunder railway station.
She later registered a complaint at railway police station. Shinde said several teams were sent out to identify and catch the accused. The police analysed footage from CCTV cameras at both stations in order to identify the culprit, said Shinde.
At 6 am on Monday, the police laid a trap for Patel at the entrance of CSMT after receiving information that he would arrive at the station, he added. Inspector Vikas Chaughule said the police looked for Patel at several stations on the Harbour line as well as public gardens over the last two days.
“The accused works as a daily wage labourer and lives on the pavement outside a hotel in Masjid Bunder. We are checking whether he has a previous criminal record,” said Shinde.
Patel was produced in court on Monday and remanded to police custody for 14 days, the police said. Inspector Chaughule added the police would first conduct a test identity parade of the accused before proceeding with the probe.
The woman (23) was on her way to her office in Navi Mumbai when the incident happened. A resident of Nallasopara, the woman had been staying with her brother in South Mumbai to celebrate Bhai Dooj.