The Government Railway Police (GRP) has booked eight people for sexually assaulting a 20-year-old woman and robbing more than 15 passengers in the Lucknow-Mumbai Pushpak Express. As per the police, the incident took place on October 8 between Igatpuri and Kasara stations in Maharashtra on the Central Railway route.
Until Saturday evening, the GRP and local crime branch had arrested four people and were searching for the other accused involved in the crime.
The police said the accused boarded the train at Igatpuri (Aurangabad Railway district) and got into sleeper bogie D-2. “It was around 7 pm. The eight accused committed the offences when the train was passing through the ghat area during the night,” said Quaiser Khalid, police commissioner, Railways, Mumbai.
The GRP, Kalyan, has registered a case under sections 395, 397, 376 (D), 354 and 354 (B) of the Indian Penal Code and sections of the Indian railway Act.
Manoj Patil, deputy commissioner of police, Central Zone, said that the accused took advantage of the dark, threatened passengers with blades and knives. “They started snatching mobile phone and cash from the passengers. The accused even sexually assaulted a woman in the train,” he said.
GRP sources further alleged that the accused had oral sex with a 20-year-old woman and touched her inappropriately. “The incident took place in front of her husband. When he tried to intervene, he too was assaulted and threatened. The accused first tried to kiss the girl; when the husband intervened, he was also assaulted,” said a police officer on condition of anonymity.
The police contacted the victims during the investigation. “We found there were 16 victims. Nine passengers were robbed for their mobile phones, and six were robbed of cash,” added Patil stating the investigation is ongoing.
The seven accused are from Igatpuri and one from Mumbai. “We are checking if they have any past criminal record,” he added.
It was only when the train reached Kasara, passengers called out for help. “The officer and the GRP staff immediately responded, and we have apprehended four accused so far. The DCP and the Crime branch team are investigating the offence. The four arrested accused are in the 19 to 21 years age group,” added Khalid.
All the injured were shifted to civic hospitals in Kasara, Karjat, and Kalyan. The woman was taken for medical aid and is fine. She is stable and is with her husband.