Kolkata (KOL) / Howrah (HWH): Ticket checkers on the Ahmedabad-Howrah Express allegedly molested a pregnant passenger travelling on a “valid ticket” and assaulted her husband and her after she failed to produce a photo identity card and refused to pay a bribe, although her husband is having identity proof.
The South Eastern Railway has started an inquiry into the incident that happened near Santragachhi.
MOSR Mr.Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has promised strong action if the charges are found to be true.
The three ticket checkers, however, claimed that the woman’s husband had turned violent when they asked him to pay a fine since his wife was not carrying a photo identity proof. They also denied molesting the woman and claimed they had only objected to her trying to click their pictures with her mobile phone. However the question is why the ticket checkers were so panic of snaps/video the pregnant women has taken when they are not at fault.
Mintu Ghosh, a resident of Burdwan’s Purbasthali and employed in Gujarat’s diamond-cutting industry, was returning from Ahmedabad with his 19-year-old wife, who is three months pregnant. Mintu claimed he was carrying his PAN card and felt it would suffice for both. Railway officials, however, said the couple had two separate tickets and therefore needed to carry separate identity proofs.
‘TC punched my wife in the abdomen’
Mintu said: “When the train was at Bhusawal in Maharashtra, some ticket checkers asked for my wife’s identity card. I told them she was my wife but they said I had no evidence. They demanded a fine of Rs 1,200. I was carrying only Rs 930. They took Rs 900 from me and scribbled something on the reverse of my ticket. When I asked for a receipt, they said they can’t issue it since I hadn’t paid the full fine. They said if any other ticket checker challenges us, the scribble on the reverse of the ticket would do,” Mintu said.
At Uluberia, three other ticket checkers got on the train and asked for the wife’s identity proof. When Mintu pointed to the scribble on the reverse of his ticket, they turned abusive and accused Mintu of scribbling it himself. When they again asked for Rs 1200 as fine, Mintu said he didn’t have any money and they could hand him over to the GRP.
“At this, the TCs suddenly lost their cool and dragged me to an air-conditioned coach. Once there, they started thrashing me. My wife followed and started filming the scene with her mobile phone. A TC spotted her and grabbed at the mobile. She tried to hide it under her clothes. This was when one TC caught her by her hair, threw her on the floor and reached inside her garments to get the phone. He brought it out and deleted the file. All this happened when the train was near Santragachhi. One of the TCs also punched my wife in the abdomen,” Mintu said.
When the train reached Howrah around 2 pm, Mintu rushed his wife to the Howrah district hospital. A doctor who examined her at the emergency said she complained of abdominal pain though there were no physical injuries. She was moved to the labour room for further tests.
Mintu returned to Howrah station and lodged an FIR with the GRP. He accused one of the TCs of molestation and criminal assault. The two others were named as his accomplices. “These are very serious allegations and we have asked the Shalimar GRP to investigate the matter as the incident occurred near Santragachhi. Nobody will be spared if the allegations are found to be true,” said Milan Kanta Das, SRP, Howrah.
Ironically, some of the co-passengers also complained that TCs behaved very rudely with the couple and sought bribe. However they said that they could not intervene as all the three TCs are very arrogant and overpowered anybody who objected their behaviour.