The harassment of women passengers in trains is spreading like an epidemic in Kerala. In the latest incident on Monday midnight, it was the turn of a cancer patient to face unwanted attention from a co-passenger, a jawan with the Tripura BSF regiment.
The woman, 50, hailing from Malayalappuzha in Pathanamthitta was proceeding to Chennai for cancer treatment in the Thiruvananthapuram-Chennai Mail. In her complaint, she said that the man touched her in an inebriated state when the train left Thrissur station. The Railway Protection Force arrested him at Palakkad station.
However, the accused Sathyan, 42, of Alappuzha told the police that his hands just touched her when he was taking the luggage from the berth. He was brought to Thrissur and produced before the court which remanded him in judicial custody. This is the fifth case of harassment of women passengers reported in the state within one week.
The crimes against women commuters in trains were on the increase, though only a fraction of the cases was reported, said Shyamla Devi, a woman commuter of Thrissur.
However, a senior RPF official said the increased harassment cases in trains can be attributed in part to women empowerment. They are now coming forward to register complaints even for minor faults of co-passengers as they are aware of their legal rights, said S Sivadas, Inspector of Railway Protection Force.