Jamshedpur/Dhanbad, Jan. 7: Absence of railway police on board put a newly married couple in a harrowing situation inside a passenger train when the woman was teased by a dozen youths and her protesting husband beaten up and forced out on tracks near Sini, 40km from Tatanagar, on Sunday night.
Fearing the worst, the woman and her father-in-law — a BCCL employee and Dhanbad resident accompanying the couple — immediately jumped off the moving train.
Some 48 hours into the incident, railway police are combing the stretch between Chandil and Chakradharpur sections to nab the youths, all of whom wore jerseys and could be footballers, going by the terrified trio’s description.
The 24-year-old woman, her 27-year-old husband and father-in-law in his mid-50s, all residents of Nagina Bazar Bhowra, 20km from Dhanbad, had boarded the Gomoh-Chakradhrarpur (Gomoh-CKP) passenger train from Gomoh on Sunday afternoon.
Around 8.20pm, 10-12 youths in jerseys boarded the compartment from a small halt, and noticing the young woman, started teasing her. As there were few passengers and no railway policeman on board, the trio tried to ignore the lewd comments for as long as possible. But when the teasing increased and the youths tried to grope the woman, her husband got up in protest.
Then, the youths allegedly started hitting him and edging him to the door of the compartment. They pushed him out when the train slowed down on a curve. His wife and father jumped off in panic.
The trio landed on hard stones on the side of the tracks. All three were injured, but the father-in-law was hurt in the head by the impact. Somehow, they reached village Ulidih and spent Sunday night there. On Monday morning around 9am, they gave their statement to railway police at the nearest Sini Junction.
On the same afternoon, Tatanagar GRP circle inspector Ramchandra Ram went to Sini and escorted the trio to MGM College and Hospital in Sakchi, Jamshedpur.
But, the father-in-law said he was a BCCL employee entitled to medical facilities and would like all of them to return to Dhanbad. He left Jamshedpur on Monday evening.
According to latest reports from Dhanbad, the father-in-law had been admitted to BCCL central hospital while the husband was being treated at a private hospital in Bhowra.
The traumatised woman, who was the least injured, was at her Nagina Bazar home.
Tatanagar superintendent of railway police Mritunjay Kishore said efforts were on to nab the youths. “The railway police have registered a case of molestation bid and assault against 15 youths who were apparently football players. We asked staffers of Gomoh-Chakradharpur passenger train for clues,” Kishore said.
Tatanagar GRP circle inspector Ram also stressed they were combing Sini and Chakradharpur areas.
On the larger question of security, Kishore admitted there was no provision for police escort on all passenger trains.
“Due to manpower crunch, escorts are provided on board very few passenger trains. Escort parties are not provided in the Gomoh-Chakradharpur passenger train,” he said.
In Dhanbad, senior commandant of RPF Hiramani Tiwari agreed passenger trains had almost no provision for security on board.