Passengers including women reaching the station late at night are left at the mercy of auto and taxi drivers to reach their destinations
Mumbai : The rape and murder of 23-year-old Esther Anuyha by a cabbie at Lokmanya Tilak Terminus, has come as no surprise as there is no policing of taxi stands outside the exalted terminus. Passengers including women reaching the station late at night are left at the mercy of auto and taxi drivers to reach their destinations.
There are more than 13 trains arriving at the Lokmanya Tilak Terminus between 10 pm and 6 am, however, passengers are not likely to find any GRP official there who would come to their rescue in times of need.
Senior Police Inspector, P Babar of Kurla GRP said, “There are too many exits to these stations and it is not possible to deploy officials there. Deploying them would make sense if there was a single entrance or exit to the station.”
He further added, “The details of pre-paid taxi drivers are written there. It is difficult to keep a tab on the remaining taxi and auto drivers as they are large in numbers.”
“The area surrounding these stations are deserted during the day itself, leave alone night. There are not many people around and passengers are left with these drivers. The absence of policing at these spots prove to be an open opportunity for these anti-social elements. A girl disappearing has raised several questions on the security,” said Lata Argade of Passenger Association.
Former Divisional Railway Users’ Consultative Committee member, Anil Tiwari said, “Ideally there should be a GRP official who should note down number of the taxi in which a lone lady gets in. At an official keeping a tab will keep them alert and avoid them on taking any undue advantage of the situation.”
The taxi drivers are often seen demanding money according to their will. Anjum Shaikh, a medical student said, “On my way back home to Mumbai the train often reaches late. LTT is very scary and no one is often present around as far as the cops are concerned. One is bound to give them what they demand, as we do not really have an option. I am scared that he may end up taking me some place else.”
The situation is no better at Bandra Terminus, the GRP officials deployed at the station are only present at the subway and footover bridges but none at the taxi stands. The road connecting the nearest suburban station is surrounded by hut men who are often found drinking along the road. An official from the GRP said, “We have our duties assigned but we are never asked to stand at these stands.”