Pune: Railway passengers feel insecure when there are no security personnel on a moving train. There have been several incidents when transgenders or illegal vendors threaten and rob passengers.
A similar incident happened with passengers travelling by Pune-Bhusawal Express on Tuesday afternoon when a disabled transgender molested, threatened passengers and tried to extort money them. In fact, there was no security personnel on the train. The Railway Protection Force (RPF) helpline number 182 was not reachable when some passengers tried to call for help.
According to the passengers, the transgender started threatening them and demanded money. Those who did not give money were abused. A witness told Sakal Times, “When the train left the Pune station, there were no security personnel inside the coach. When the train left Chinchwad station, the transgender entered our bogie. She was limping in one leg and sought Rs 10 from passengers. She threatened those who paid Rs 5 saying she would call up more transgenders to beat them up.”
“She used abusive language against male passengers. A passenger refused to give money and she injured him with a sharp blade. Then she came near me. When I also refused to pay, she threatened me, too, with the blade. I tried to contact the helpline number but it was not reachable. Also, I called up the Lonavla police station but they told me to contact the Government Railway Police (GRP). Then I called the Karjat police for help.”
According to other passengers, they called the GRP several times to take action against the transgender. When the train reached Lonavla station, the transgender got off and boarded another local train on platform number two.
When contacted, the security personnel of GRP and RPF feigned ignorance about this incident. Manoj Khandale, Senior Police Inspector, GRP, Pune, said, “We did not receive any call about the transgender threatening passengers. We depute personnel on each train. Earlier, we received calls about transgenders beating and threatening passengers. We had taken action against them.”
D Vikas, Divisional Security Commissioner said the helpline number 182 was being updated. Hence, it may not have been reachable. He apologised for that.
“We had not received any call on Tuesday. Had it come to our knowledge, RPF personnel would have definitely helped the passengers. I asked the officials to depute staff on the train,” Vikas told Sakal Times. D Vikas is in Delhi for training and spoke to passengers and assured action against the culprit.