Girl raped on local between CSMT and Masjid

MUMBAI: A 20-year-old student was sexually assaulted in a moving harbour line local between CSMT and Masjid stations early on Wednesday while she was on her way to Belapur to appear for an examination. The accused, Nawazu Karim, 40, was arrested later the same day on charges of rape under the IPC. Police said he works as a porter.Ladies coaches on local trains are escorted by a guard between 9 pm and 6 am for women’s safety. Wednesday’s incident occurred after the escorting duty had ended. The victim lives in south Mumbai and boarded the second-class ladies compartment of a CSMT-Panvel local at 7.27 am. There was an elderly woman traveller in the same coach. Just as the train started to move, Karim jumped into the compartment. In the three to four minute journey between CSMT and Masjid, he allegedly sexually assaulted the student. The elderly co-traveller yelled that she would summon the police but to no avail. The victim fought back and managed to alight at Masjid. She then ran ahead and boarded a general compartment of the same train which was occupied by male passengers.”The victim was shaken. A male companion asked if she needed assistance and if anything was amiss. She confessed to him that she had experienced sexual abuse. He then dialled the GRP helpline 1512 while the train continued to move,” said a senior police officer.TimesViewThe horrific sexual assault on a female student inside a moving local train between CSMT and Masjid stations calls for enhanced security for women travellers and access control at all railway stations. The perpetrator, a porter, was not on the Harbour line platform looking for work, according to the police. Continuous patrolling on platforms outside ladies coaches are necessary.Helpline operators responded to the call and sent female cops to attend to the train at Sanpada station. They escorted the victim to Belapur where she had to appear for an exam. At the exam centre, the woman explained to the exam supervisor what she had gone through. The supervisor told her it was alright to not appear for the exam immediately and they would arrange for her to appear on some other day. The female cops then escorted the victim back to CSMT where she registered a complaint post 11 am.Police said the woman was initially hesitant to provide intimate details of the crime as she was traumatised. Policewomen counselled her and were by her side while registering a FIR.Police started looking for the perpetrator even before a formal FIR was registered so as to prevent him from escaping. Three teams of the local police station, GRP crime branch and RPF were formed. The teams combed through CCTV footage from CSMT and Masjid stations. RPF personnel spotted Karim at Masjid within eight hours and detained him. He was handed over to the CSMT GRP where he was booked for rape.Police said Karim is a native of Bihar and they are checking whether he has any criminal antecedents.(The victim’s identity has not been revealed to protect her privacy as per Supreme Court’s directives on cases related to sexual assault)

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