PIL seeks special force for women on trains

Some days after a woman passenger was molested by an IAS officer on a train, the Allahabad High Court on Monday sought a reply from the railway ministry on a plea demanding a dedicated commando force in trains for security of women.

Hearing a petition filed by a local lawyer, the Lucknow Bench of the court asked the ministry to file its reply within two weeks. A division Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Amitava Lala and Justice Anil Kumar admitted the public interest litigation.

Citing incidents of misbehaviour with women passengers on trains, petitioner Moti Lal Yadav had last week filed the PIL seeking directives to the Railway Board for appointing women commandos on every train.

Yadav had also requested the court to order the UP government to probe the rape attempt on a Delhi-based woman by IAS officer Shahsi Bhushan Lal Sushil. Yadav demanded that the state government appoint adequate number of women personnel in police stations.

He said the Railway Board had decided to deploy a women commando force, but nothing has been done so far. Sushil, former special secretary of the technical education department, was arrested on October 1 on charges of attempt to rape and molesting a woman on a Lucknow-bound train.

The officer, who was detained in Lucknow, was booked under Section 354 of the IPC (assault or criminal force on woman with intent to outrage her modesty).

The woman had alleged that the officer travelling with her in Lucknow Mail had misbehaved with her. Sushil claimed he got into a verbal duel with her after she made a casteist remark against him.

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