Mumbai: A city-based activist’s incessant efforts for nearly six months finally yielded results on Friday when the railway police force booked two workers of a public toilet. They were booked for allowing male commuters to use the women’s section of a public toilet, constructed on Bandra railway station’s platform number one.

Shaikh has claimed the workers had endangered the safety of the women who were using the toilet simultaneously. The incident in question occurred in October last year when activist Shakeel Shaikh shot a video of the public toilet which was inaugurated by BJP Mumbai unit chief Ashish Shelar, just a few hours before the two workers allowed men to use the women’s side of the toilet.

Shockingly, the workers of the contractor, tasked to operate the toilet, allowed men to use the women’s section even though some women were already using the toilet and some were waiting outside for their turn. Equally surprising was the stand of the railway authorities, who claimed that one man had ‘inadvertently’ entered the women’s section but came out soon after he was informed of the fact. The video, which trashed contentions of the railway authorities, shows the activist pulling up the staffers who had allowed the men to use the toilet; the footage also shows a man coming out of the women’s toilet, after using it. The video clip also shows the women waiting outside.

Since then, Shaikh has been running from pillar to post urging the authorities to register a criminal case against the staffers and the men who used the women’s toilet. However, after a lot of deliberations, the Bandra railway police registered a case against the two workers under Section 188 of the IPC, which provides six months punishment for public servants who disobey orders or rules. “I have written a letter to Piyush Goyal and also the GM of railways, requesting them to consider installing CCTV cameras outside women’s toilets. This would ensure that men do not enter their section,” Shaikh added.

Free Press Journal