Sainthia, Sept. 5: Police arrested five Calcutta youths for allegedly harassing a lady music teacher from Birbhum in an air-conditioned compartment of a Malda-bound express train last evening under the influence of alcohol.
The Rampurhat resident, in her mid-thirties, said the youths were part of a group of 30 headed for Tarapith. “After the Howrah-Malda Town Intercity Express rolled out of Howrah station, the youths started drinking. Within half an hour, they got drunk and started disturbing me,” she said.
The woman, who runs music schools in Behala, Rampurhat and Malda, added: “The men were talking loudly among themselves, using filthy language. Five of them were the most foul-mouthed. One of them came close to me and asked me to give him my water bottle. I told him to behave.
“A little later, another youth came to me and said: ‘Ami apnar pashe ektu bosbo (I will sit beside you).’ I lost my temper and shouted at them. But I restrained myself as the group was occupying almost half the compartment and they were under the influence of alcohol.”
The woman said some of the youths told her to move to another compartment. “I was the only woman in the compartment. I sought the help of the ticket checker but he failed to control the youths,” she added.
The Forward Bloc MLA from Birbhum’s Nalhati, Dipak Chatterjee, who was also travelling in the same coach, protested.
The music teacher said that as the train approached Bolpur, she sent a text message to a friend in Sainthia who informed the police. When the train reached Sainthia, the police entered the compartment and arrested the five youths, whom the teacher identified.
The officer in charge of Sainthia railway police station, Pijush Roy, said: “We charged the youths with criminal acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention and creating public nuisance. They were produced in Rampurhat court and given bail.”
The woman did not press more serious charges as she “did not want to get embroiled in court cases”. “Also, the youths apologised to me at the police station,” she added.
A police officer said the five youths either had small businesses or were employees of private companies.