An Indian Navy sailor, B Clement (26), was arrested by the Vijayawada Government Railway Police (GRP) on Friday for allegedly molesting a minor girl on Bokaro Express.
He has been booked under Section 354 of the IPC (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty).
Though the incident took place between Sullurpet and Gudur railway stations in Nellore district, the accused was forced to get down from the train at Vijayawada railway station following a complaint by the victim’s mother.
According to sources, the 12-year-old girl along with her mother, brother and uncle, was travelling in Alleppey- Dhanbad Bokaro Express in D-2 compartment (AC III Tier).
They boarded the train at Chennai railway station to go to Tadepalligudem in West Godavari district.
Just half-an-hour past Thursday midnight, Clement, who was sleeping on the upper berth (Seat No 43), had allegedly tried to molest the girl.
When the girl cried, her mother Usharani, uncle Chethan and other co-passengers had caught hold of Clement and roughed him up before handing him over to the Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel in the train.
It is said that the accused had prevented the RPF staff when they tried to get him down at Nellore and again in Ongole and entered into a quarrel with them telling that they could do nothing as he belongs to the Indian Navy. He reportedly claimed that he was being accused without any evidence following an argument with the complainants for boarding the train after consuming liquor.
When the train reached Vijayawada railway station at 7.15 am on Friday, Usharani, who is also a railway employee, lodged a complaint in the GRP station on platform No 6 and the RPF staff had finally got him down and handed over him to the railway police.
Chethan alleged that the railway police at Vijayawada station had initially refused to register the complaint, asking the victim’s family to go to Sullurpet or Gudur railway police stations.
“But, they registered the case against Clement following media attention,” he added. When contacted, GRP DSP DN Mahesh said the accused was arrested and a case was registered against him under Section 354 of the IPC, adding that Clement is a native of Ernakulam in Kerala.
After being transferred from Mumbai, he was going to Visakhapatnam to give his joining report in the electrical wing of Indian Navy.