A woman commuter was robbed by a eunuch at gunpoint on Thursday morning on a moving local train. The ‘pistol’, however, that was used to threaten the female commuter, turned out to be a toy. The incident took place in the last women's compartment of a Virar bound local train.
After getting complaints about the loot, Government Railway Police (GRP) immediately swung into action and arrested the accused on Friday. The accused have been identified as Praful alias Abhishek Panchal (22), a resident of Khar Road. The accused was also arrested by Andheri GRP in 2019 for extorting passengers at knifepoint.
Confirming the development, senior inspector Anil Kadam of Borivali GRP said, "Accused has been booked under section 386 and 354 Indian Penal Code for extorting by putting a person in fear of death or grievous hurt and assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty and recovered Rs 4,000 from the possession of accused. Further investigation is on. Accused will be produced in court on Saturday".
The victim, identified as Victim Nisha Mahesh Watare, a flower merchant from Bhiwandi, said, "I as usual boarded the ladies compartment from Dadar, three of four women were also sitting in that coach but when the train started from Andheri, the accused suddenly put a gun on me and took my purse forcefully."
"I was very scared because I had over Rs. 50,000 in my purse for business purposes, but luckily he didn't check the inner side pockets of the purse and returned my purse after taking Rs. 4,000 from the front pocket of the purse. Apart from that, the accused also put a hand in my blouse and took away Rs 20 which I kept aside for the rickshaw fare and got down at Borivali," Nisha told FPJ on Friday.
After the incident, she was very scared and returned home because she needed to visit Borivali again for personal work in the afternoon. While returning from Borivali, in the evening she reportedly shared about this incident with fellow commuters of the ladies' coach.
"I was travelling in the same coach in the evening when I heard about the incident, I asked the woman why she did not register a complaint with GRP," Pooja Katti, a passengers activist of Nallasopara said. "After that, I immediately informed the GRP control room about the incident and asked others as well to register an FIR," added Pooja who also shared the video of the accused by shot by the victim with the police.
Speaking about the incident, an investigating officer said, "After getting information through the control room about the incident, we immediately started looking for the accused and located a few suspects by Friday morning.''
"After getting formal complaints from the victim, we arrested the accused person and also recovered the stolen money which will be handed over to the woman after completing the legal procedure," the police officer further added.