Mumbaikars were once again stunned over crimes in suburban trains after a coolie (porter) allegedly raped a 20-year-old student in a running train just as it departed from the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus station. The accused, who was nabbed within eight hours of the incident on Wednesday, shall be produced before a city court later on Thursday, said an official.
Student was alone in the compartment with another senior woman
The student was on the way to appear for her exams at Belapur in Navi Mumbai and boarded the ladies' second-class compartment of the CSMT-Panvel local train. At that hour, there was just one senior woman in the coach. When the train started moving out of the platform, a man suddenly jumped inside, caught the girl and started sexually assaulting her as she attempted to fight him off.
He did not heed the screams and warnings of the elderly woman who threatened to call the police, and as soon as the train reached Masjid station, the student managed to escape while the coolie ran away. She went and boarded an adjoining general compartment, shaken and crying when a male co-passenger dialled the GRP Helpline for assistance.
Railway police track down and arrest accused
Following a police complaint later in the afternoon, teams of the Railway Protection Force and Government Railway Police along with Mumbai Police managed to track and nab the accused, a coolie named Nawaz Karim, (40) late on Wednesday evening. Acting promptly on the helpline call, the police sent a team to escort the student-victim to her examination centre in Sanpada, Navi Mumbai, but after learning of her tragic ordeal, the examiner offered to conduct her exams some other day.
Later, the girl was again taken to CSMT where she lodged a formal complaint, even as three police teams were already probing the matter, scanning CCTV footage and sleuths in the field.
Concerns about women's safety
Hot on the trail of Karim, the GRP teams finally spotted him outside the Masjid station, nabbed him and handed him over to the GRP at CSMT. The accused, who is said to be from Bihar, has been arrested and charged with rape and other charges and will be taken to a court for remand today, said an official, as the incident sparked outrage and fresh concerns about women's safety.