Knives inside Metro coaches is an old decision and has nothing to do with Bengaluru mass-molestation incident, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) clarified on Friday, after misconstrued news reports across media.
Several media houses on Friday ran news claiming that the DMRC had lifted prohibition on knives for women in favour of self-defence.
The capital's prime transporter came up with a clarification later in the evening that the ban on carrying knives aboard Metro coaches was lifted two months back in November and it was not for enabling women to defend themselves.
It said these small knives, which women may carry to cut fruits in their tiffin-boxes, show up in the scan machine while going through checks at the stations. It was only to save the time that goes into physical checks that the Metro decided to let go of the prohibition completely.
It usually takes one-and-a-half minutes to check the tiffin-box in case the scan shows the knife. On the other hand, about 8-9 lakh women passengers commute by Metro daily. Imagine the time we would end up spending checking the tiffin boxes. So, we decided to lift the prohibition only for such knives. It has nothing to do with Metro promoting self-defence or with the Bengaluru molestation. Such interpretations are false.Manjeet, Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) spokesperson, to IANS
Many newspapers and news websites talked of the move as a great step towards women empowerment and also misreported its timing as coming into effect on Friday.
In a decision taken by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), matchboxes and lighters are now allowed inside the Delhi metro, Hindustan Times reported. Women can also carry a small knife for self-protection.
“Apart from one lighter and one matchbox per passenger, we have also allowed passengers to carry tools. We received several requests as labourers travel by metro and carry tools for work,” a CISF official said.
According to officials, as many as 100 odd lighters and matchboxes are seized in different stations on an average.
“However, we examine the tools and make an entry in a register so that the passenger can be traced if needed,” he added. Women can carry a knife up to 4 inch, the official said. However, security personnel can deny entry if the passenger is viewed as a security threat.
In the Delhi metro, sharp objects like knives, swords, firearms and flammable items are prohibited.
“The world over, it is a practice that only items that can cause mass destruction are not allowed. We carried a review and found that with these items, passengers’ safety is not at risk,” the official said.