The railway had also launched a mobile application called eye-watch women.
Mumbai: The Bombay high court has asked the central and western railway to ensure that women’s safety initiatives are on track.
The direction comes while hearing a suo-moto public interest litigation (PIL) that was taken up by the high court in 2011 after a media report about a woman being molested on a suburban train.
At that time, the railway police force (RPF) personnel refused to register a case saying that she had not been robbed and raped by the man in question. The court while disposing off the petition observed that the railway had understood the seriousness of the issue and was taking steps to curb such menance.
A division bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Nitin Jamdar observed, “The insensitivity shown by the railway staff, had led this court to take cognisance of the incident. We can see that they (railways) have understood the seriousness of the issue and are taking steps toward redress. We expect the authorities to keep up their initiatives.”
“If any new challenge emerges, citizens can always approach the court,” the bench said.
Earlier, railway counsel Suresh Kumar informed the court that surveillance cameras had been fitted at almost every station, and cameras would be fitted in train compartments by the end of this year. The court was infor-med that the RPF had been conducting special drives and surprise chec-ks and miscreants who blocked ladies compartments had been apprehended. He said that a social media group Sakhi had been created for exchange of information to help women in distress.
The railway had also launched a mobile application called eye-watch women. The advocate said that railway personnel were being sensitised on gender issues. The state had appointed a committee to look into women’s safety issues.
The court observed that in the last few years, there had also been legal changes including making stalking punishable, besides stringent punishment for acid attacks and expansion of the definition of rape and sexual harassment.