The railway police Friday announced that it would increase the number of police personnel deployed in trains for the safety of women passengers on the suburban rail network.
The railway police have faced severe flak over the alleged molestation of a 22-year-old management student in a late night train to Churchgate on August 6 and the absence of a police escort in it.
The woman was travelling in a second-class ladies coach when a 19-year-old youth got into the coach at Grant Road station and allegedly tore her clothes before fleeing when the train halted at Charni Road station. The accused was subsequently arrested.
Commissioner of Railway Police Madhukar Pandey said that the night escort staff of the railway police had been increased from 380 police constables and 200 homeguards to 420 and 240, respectively.
Pandey also said that to provide “the best measures possible” to ensure safe travel for women, the railway police had approached IIT Bombay to chalk out “a foolproof plan” to stop scheduling errors in trains – one of the main reasons for police escorts not being on the train.
On August 6, the deputed police escort was absent in the train in which the alleged molestation took place as the local train was running at least 93 minutes late owing to a technical snag in services.
The railway police have already enforced several initiatives such as ‘WhatsApp helplines’ and the ‘Nirbhaya squads’ to provide safe journey options for women