MAHARASHTRA Navnirman Sena (MNS) worker Samiksha Markande (36), who was allegedly robbed while travelling on a local train on Friday, claimed she was slapped by the accused before being hit on her hand. Her cellphone was robbed by the man, who was perched on a pole near the Kopri bridge in Thane, she said. She was travelling to Thane railway station from Mulund around 6 pm when the incident took place.
Markande claimed she sustained minor injuries on her right leg after she tried to nab the accused by alighting from the train. “I routinely travel between these two railway stations in the evening. As the trains are always packed during this time, I prefer to stand near the footboard so that I may not have to jostle against the crowd to get out of the train. As the train stopped near the Kopri bridge signal on Friday evening, the accused slapped me on my face, hit my hand hard and seized my phone,” she said.
Markande claimed she raised an alarm after which the motorman stopped the train. “I was travelling in the first compartment behind the motorman’s cabin and so upon hearing our cry, he stopped the train. Accompanied by a few other women commuters, we tried to run behind the accused, who was helped by an associate waiting for him on the tracks. However, I was unable to match their speed after they ran into the shrubs near the tracks,” she added.
Markande said the train was slowing down when the accused hit her or she could have fallen off the running train. “If the train was running at full speed, I could have fallen. It was a new phone worth more than Rs 60,000. This is not the first time that such an incident has happened. My friends in the past have approached the railway police to complain about theft of phones,” she added.
Senior police inspector M Sonawane from the Thane Government Railway Police said, “At least four incidents of similar nature have been reported at the same spot this year. We are trying to interrogate the regular miscreants from the locality to understand who could have committed the crime. A case has been registered and an investigation is on.”
A case under sections 382 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for theft and causing injuries to the victim has been registered against the two unidentified accused. “I will write to the railway officials concerned for increased security for women commuters on local trains. Even the GRP complained of lack of manpower to guard such places. This reflects poorly on the safety of women commuters,” said Markande.