KOCHI: A 16-year-old girl who was travelling along with her father on board the Ernakulam-Guruvayur Special Express train was allegedly sexually assaulted by a group of men.
The incident happened at 7.50 pm on Saturday when the girl was travelling to Thrissur from Ernakulam.
According to the victim's father, they had boarded the last coach of the train from Ernakulam North Railway station and were headed to their home town in Thrissur. "There were six men sitting opposite to us in the compartment which had not many passengers," he told TNIE. Right from the time the train started from Ernakulam North railway station, the men, who were in an inebriated state, started passing lewd comments at my daughter, said the father.
"One of the men even touched my daughter's leg. When she brought this to my notice, I intervened. However, the men, all six of them, began hurling abuses and used foul language before attacking me physically," he said. When a youth who was travelling in the same compartment tried to intervene, they manhandled him too, he added. "When we tried to click their photos they got more aggressive and tried to snatch our phones. However, we managed to get a few photos," said the father.
In her complaint to the Thrissur Railway Police, the girl said that the men touched her leg and tried to molest her. "We have registered a case under section 354 of CrPC and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act against five of the men," said the police.
The police said the girl alleged that the harassment began after the train crossed Kalamassery railway station. "Preliminary investigations have revealed that the men are daily commuters and hold season tickets," said the police.
Meanwhile, the girl and her father alleged that though they had complained to the railway guard regarding the incident, he didn't take the initiative to alert the railway police. As the miscreants continued harassing the girl and the guard allegedly refused to help, the father contacted Thrissur Railway police over the phone and sought help. However, all six men got down at various stations and escaped.
According to Thrissur railway police, since the train originated from Ernakulam, the case will be handed over to the Ernakulam Railway Police.