Mumbai: In yet another incident that highlights how unsafe women commuters are on the Mumbai suburban railway network, a foreigner was mugged inside a running Western Railway local train at Marine Lines on Sunday evening. The accused, suspected to be a drug addict, slashed the woman on her neck and cheek when she refused to part with her smartphone. The victim, Michelle Marks was treated at Nair Hospital with superficial injuries and was in the process of getting discharged against medical advice. The culprit is on the run.
Marks, an American national, resides at Goregaon and works with an NGO. She has been in Mumbai for a year. On Sunday, she had been to Churchgate for a prayer meet. Around 4.27pm, she boarded a first-class ladies compartment of a Borivli-bound local to return home. The compartment was empty as it was Sunday.
“Spotting her alone, an unknown man got into the compartment at Marine Lines station. He tried to snatch the iPhone that Marks was carrying. But she resisted and put up a tough fight,” said deputy commissioner B Shirsat. “The man then pulled out a shaving blade and slashed her. Marks sustained two cuts on her left cheek, two on her neck and a few bruises on her hands.” As the train slowed down at Charni Road station, the man jumped off with her phone.
But the victim’s ordeal did not end there. “She was bleeding when she got off at Grant Road station. A few commuters spotted her asking for help and brought her to Mumbai Central station in the next train. They took her to the station master’s office. But instead of summoning a Railway Protection Force (RPF) jawan who was patrolling nearby, the station master made an announcement for the GRP to come and waited till two of our personnel reached there,” said Rajendra Trivedi, senior inspector, Mumbai Central GRP. The GRP personnel admitted Marks to Nair Hospital. The RPF is entrusted with the job of protecting railway property while GRP handles the law and order.
“On examination, we found that she had two injuries on her neck caused by some sharp weapon. She needed four to five stitches but the injuries are not very serious. She also has a few minor cuts elsewhere on her body but those are superficial,” said deputy dean Dr M Shah. He added that she was kept in the trauma ward for observation. Marks, however, wanted to take discharge against medical advice. “We usually keep a patient under observation for a day but she wanted to go home. She is frightened and probably wants to be with her family and friends,” said Shah. He, however, did not know if the patient was getting admitted to any other hospital. One of her siblings and a few friends had reached the hospital soon after she was taken there, said a hospital source.
The Churchgate GRP registered a case of robbery under section 392 of IPC. “We are checking CCTV footage at Marine Lines and Charni Road stations to identify the accused,” said an officer.