New Delhi, Jan 4 (IANS) Lecherous males trying to misbehave with women on board crowded Metro trains could find themselves collared and fined by women paramilitary officers posing as passengers.
Around four women officers of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) would be on board each Metro train, dressed in civvies and mingling among the passengers.
Once they catch a male trying to misbehave, he would be caught and fined Rs.250 and handed over to the Metro police, CISF spokesperson Hemendra Singh told IANS.
While the move to deploy women CISF officers on Metro trains was introduced last July, the drive has been intensified by deploying more such officers on the trains since the Dec 16 horrific gang-rape, Singh said.
The brutal gang-rape and torture of a 23-year-old trainee physiotherapist on a moving bus in south Delhi and her subsequent death due to grievous injuries has sparked widespread protests in the national capital and elsewhere with demands for stricter anti-rape laws and more security for women.
Ten teams of CISF women officers, each comprising four members including a sub-inspector, would board Metro trains at random stations, mingle among the crowd and check for incidents of harassment of women, the official added.
The women officers would be deployed on the 200 Metro trains between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. every day.
"If a man tries to board the women's compartment or attempts to alight from that compartment, he will be fined Rs.250-Rs.500," Singh told IANS.
The CISF has also deployed additional women personnel in and around Delhi's Metro stations to check sexual harassment and ensure security of passengers. There are 139 Metro stations and around 20 lakh people use the service on an average, a Delhi Metro official told IANS.
Another CISF officer said around 770 women CISF personnel - including one assistant commandant, 10 inspectors, 26 sub-inspectors, 11 assistant sub-inspectors, 10 head constables, 711 constables and around three ministerial staff - have been deployed inside and outside the Metro stations.
Women passengers can also complain about sexual harassment on a CISF helpline - 011-22185555. "We will ensure a quick response," Singh promised.
Since the drive was launched in July, CISF has caught over 10,000 men till Dec 31, 2012. This figure includes those who boarded the women's only compartment.
Rajnish Singh can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)