A 25-year-old woman was rescued by a member of the Railway Protection Force on Monday, after she was sexually assaulted on a local train in Chennai. The woman was travelling from Velachery to Beach road on the Chennai Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) when an attempt was made to rape her.
According to the Railway police, Nila* was sexually assaulted between Chintadripet and Park station. She was on the last train travelling on the line and a member of the Railway protection force was alerted by her screams. She was the only passenger in the ladies compartment. The victim reportedly hails from Vyasarpadi and had fallen asleep on the train.
"I was on the next coach when I heard her screaming for help. I couldn't get down because the train was moving (On MRTS trains, one can't move between coaches). As soon as the train halted at the Park station, I ran and pulled the assaulter off her," says Sivaji, the RPF officer who saved her. The Railway police has told TNM that the accused has been identified as Sathyaraj. He is a 26-year-old daily wage worker who was allegedly in an inebriated condition.
When the RPF found the victim, she was unconscious and bleeding from the mouth. Sathyaraj meanwhile was pushing her down violently, according to the police. Sivaji overpowered the accused and foiled his rape bid.
She was immediately rushed to a nearby hospital and given first aid.
"The victim is doing fine and has recorded a video statement. She is from a very poor background. She is grateful for having been rescued. She says she wouldn't have been alive if not for timely intervention," Pon Manickavel, Inspector General of Railway police told the media. "She wants the culprit to be severely punished to ensure that this doesn't happen to any other woman. Investigations are still underway. On my part, I have decided to reward the RPF personnel who intervened in a timely manner with Rs.5000," he added.
This incident, comes to light just a day after a 9-year-old girl was sexually abused by a lawyer and former BJP candidate on a train travelling from Thiruvananthapuram to Chennai.
* Name changed to protect identity