A woman passenger was molested by a fellow passenger inside a local train late Tuesday moments after he saved her from an armed chain snatcher.
The incident took place when the woman was travelling from her home in Bhayander to meet her brother in Kandivali. She climbed into the general compartment of a slow Churchgate-bound train at 11.44 pm from the Borivali station. The only passenger inside was a man, Rahim Shaikh (32), asleep on a seat.
Seconds after she had boarded, another man – later identified Santacruz East resident Omprakash Dikshit (32) – followed her inside, held a knife to her throat and demanded that she hand over her gold necklace and cellphone, the police said.
Shaikh was woken by the woman’s cries for help and came to her aid. The police said that he hit Dikshit on the head and chased him out of the train. In her complaint to the police, the woman said that Shaikh assured her that she was now safe, saying, “You are like my sister. Do not be afraid. I am here.” However, just as the train was about to depart from the platform, he went to the door and called Dikshit back inside.
In between Borivali and Kandivali stations, Shaikh molested the woman and took away her necklace and cellphone, the police said. Both men alighted from the train at Kandivali. As the woman raised an alarm, the policemen on duty at the station managed to catch Dikshit.
Bhaskar Pawar, Senior Inspector of Borivali railway police station, said that CCTV cameras in the station premises provided the investigation team with a partial description of the molester. “We sent several teams across Kandivali in search of Shaikh. We found that he was a known drug addict and looked for him at public bathrooms in slums he was known to frequent,” Pawar added.
On Thursday, Shaikh was arrested from Kandivali West. “The two men do not know each other and are not connected in any way. Shaikh only made a show of helping the woman and then sensed an opportunity to steal from her,” said Pawar.
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