Two persons have been arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman in a moving local train and trying to push her off the train after the crime. The incident took place between Atgaon to Kasara railway station on the main line of Central Railway at night on November 25.
The accused have been identified as Amol Jadhav, 20 and Aman Hile, 19, both are construction workers at Thane.
The 21-year-old woman passenger was traveling from Thane to Kasara in a ladies compartment when the incident took place.
"The victim, who works in Thane and had boarded a Kasara-bound local from Thane at around 9:30 pm. However, the coach turned empty when it reached Atgaon railway station. Taking advantage of the situation the accused entered the coach in an inebriated condition, said Valmik Shardul, senior police inspector, Kalyan Government Railway Police (GRP)
He said that the woman with her presence of mind clicked photos of the accused and forwarded them on her uncle’s WhatsApp number after alerting him. She has been staying at Kasara with her uncle for the past few years, said Shardul.
No security official was present in the coach at that time and taking advantage of the situation, the accused sexually assaulted her.
"The victim was sexually assaulted by both the accused and also tried to push her out of the moving train. In the bid, the duo dragged her up to the footboard. However, she managed to save herself and one of the accused fled after the train halted at Umbermali railway station. The second accused was arrested at Kasara station," added Shardul.
Her uncle works at the railway canteen at Kasara railway station and he had alerted the railway officials. "The accused was caught at Kasara by the railway police. Based on the statement of the woman, the police registered case against the accused. With the help of photos, his accomplice was also immediately nabbed," informed police official at Kalyan GRP.
Case has been registered against the accused under Section 354 and 307 of Indian Penal Code, who have been remanded in police custody till December 1, informed Shardul.
According to the GRP official, the victim is the regular commuter from Thane to Kasara, and was staying at her uncle's place with her mother for past 3-4 years.
The officials said that due to lack of manpower, they are unable to deploy adequate security officials in the ladies compartment.
According to the GRP official, before COVID-19 outbreak, the maximum number of MSF (Maharashtra Security Force) and Home Guards were deployed in the local trains for commuters’ safety. However, after lockdown, Home Guards were dropped from the trains while, the MSF manpower was cut down.
"At present, the Kalyan GRP division, which covers Kalyan to Karjat/Kasara stretch, consists of only 25 percent MSF security personnel out of its total need. For providing adequate security forces on stations and local trains, we need more 125 MSF personnel," informed GRP official.