RPF Woman Constable teams christened “Shakti Squad” to patrol trans-harbour line

Mumbai: The first woman constable team of the Railway Police Force (RPF) for the trans-harbour line, christened “Shakti Squad”, will start functioning from Wednesday. This has come more than a year after a woman fell off the train between Rabale and Ghansoli stations when a man lurking in the grass next to the tracks tried to snatch her handbag with a hook. The victim, Aarti Gholapkar (43), who used to work in a garment factory at Mahape, was declared brain dead after suffering multiple head injuries.

Two teams will be deployed, each comprising five members, of which, one sub-inspector, one assistant sub-inspector and one constable will all be women, while the remaining two constables will be men. The trans-harbour teams have been trained for a week along with the “Nirbhaya” team of the Government Railway Police to get a better understanding of the modus-operandi on the Mumbai suburban line.

Senior divisional security commissioner Alok Bohra said, “The Shakti Squad will be deployed from Wednesday morning; the teams will be mobile and will travel in trains, as well as monitor misbehaviour towards women on platforms.”

“One team will operate from 7 am to 3 pm and the second team will take over from 3 pm to 11 pm,” he added.

So far, only the main harbour line from CST to Panvel had RPF presence in the form of four teams.

The RPF has a total of nine women teams for Central Railway comprising the mainline, harbour and now trans-harbour. The other teams are for CST-Byculla, Byculla-Kurla and Kurla-Thane.