In a disturbing case of police apathy, a woman has alleged that the Mumbai police refused to take action after she raised an alarm about an unattended bag in the local train she was travelling in.
Swati Sharma, phoned the Railway Protection Force (RPF) after she spotted an unattended bag in a local that she boarded from Andheri on 19 July, Mid-Day reported
She said she called the RPF eight times. “I noticed a bag lying on the overhead rack and looked around, there were only three people in the coach. I had a bad feeling about it. I asked the other passengers if the bag was theirs, but they refused,” she told the daily.
‘Eight Calls to RPF’
Sharma said the first call was answered by a woman who disconnected it after asking her for the details of the bag and the compartment she was in.
After eight calls, someone answered and asked Sharma the same set of questions that the woman had asked. When Sharma reached her destination, Churchgate station, she spoke to the police officers at the station, but they did nothing to help. She told the daily that she asked the train driver not to move the train until the issue was resolved, but he refused.
I finally managed to catch the attention of a helpful cop called Jadhav, who sprung into action, but by then the train had left the station
It was only after the train had left that Sharma received a call from an RPF officer, reported Mid-Day. However when he finally arrived, he simply had one question for her:
Are you happy with our customer care?
She says that she later received several calls from the same official asking for her details. “This is exactly why people don’t complain to the authorities in the first place. I was surprised that all the way from Bandra - where I made the first call to the helpline - to Churchgate, no one came to help. I felt so embarrassed that despite being an aware citizen, I was unable to get any help. Help should be at hand at every station, and easily accessible, but I could not find anyone. Next time this happens, I’m just going to get off the train,” she told the daily.
When Mid-Day reached out to the police, Anup Shukla, senior divisional security commissioner for the Western Railway, replied with:
I am not authorised to comment on any issue. Please speak to my DIG about it.
When they tried using the Railway Security Helpline, a woman officer answered and said that the helpline was working just fine on 19 July and that it was routine procedure to ask for the details of the caller.
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