A young woman, travelling in a suburban train in Kolkata along with her friend, was harassed by fellow passengers who threatened and intimidated her and pulled her up for her dress. The couple later lodged a complaint with the Government Railway Police.
“Yes we have received a complaint against unknown persons. We are trying to establish the identity of the accused and the entire matter is under investigation,” said a GRP officer on Monday.
The woman, working in a private company here, boarded the general compartment of the Barrackpore-bound local train from Sealdah station along with her friend on Saturday evening.
“It was very sultry, there was little place to sit, so I requested a middle-aged man to shift a little so that we could sit side-by-side. He denied, saying he cannot shift as there is no fan,” the victim wrote in her Facebook post.
According to her, she and her friend somehow adjusted in the little space without further argument. Even then the man taunted her, saying “this is not a ladies compartment”.
When the couple got up, the man shifted to the side he had initially refused to move to. The couple then asked him how he could manage without the fan now.
There followed an altercation, which the woman video recorded on her mobile and then shared it on social media.
The man was heard saying: “Go home and sit on each other’s lap. The metro incident (when a young couple was assaulted by a mob at the Dum Dum station of Kolkata Metro in late April for allegedly standing close to each other inside a train compartment) took place because of people of your generation.”
Another man said: “Do not wear such clothes (t-shirt and jeans) and board the train.”
In the video, the man can be clearly seen taunting her, saying “you are a woman, you are a woman, you are a woman, don’t speak too much”.
She also retorted, asking him how he could speak about her dress. The woman then raised her voice and asked him to shut up.
The woman’s friend said they were also taunted after they deboarded the train. “The taunting continued even after we alighted. When we responded… the language that the elderly man used, I will never expect a man of his age to use such words,” he said.
“I just want to say, is this our country where women are meant to hear such things? This is our new society, where such behaviour has become a daily routine on trains and buses? I just want to ask, is this the behaviour which can be expected from the seniors?” the woman questioned in her Facebook post.