Mumbai: Male vendors won't be allowed to sell their wares in the ladies compartments of local trains, Maharashtra Home Minister RR Patil said on Tuesday. He was speaking to reporters at the Churchgate station here after a surprise visit to the bustling terminus to review women commuters' security during the evening peak hours.
Security personnel would also be stationed on railway overbridges to combat the menace of molestation, the minister, who also interacted with women commuters, said. His comments about disallowing male vendors comes in the backdrop of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) arresting 156 men in four days for allegedly travelling in the ladies compartment of local trains on Western Railway.
The RPF arrested around 6,000 men for travelling in the ladies compartment in 2012. To a query on women's safety in the wake of the Delhi gangrape, Patil said the state government has proposed to the Centre to award death penalty for heinous cases of rape.
In 2010, the Maharashtra government had sent a proposal to the Centre to make punishment for molestation of women more stringent. The state government had sent a proposal to the Centre to increase jail term under section 354 of the IPC from two years (and a penalty) to non-bailable and non-compoundable imprisonment of seven years.
Section 354 deals with assault or use of criminal force against a woman with an intention to outrage her modesty. The state had also proposed to the Centre to amend section 509 of the IPC to make it non-bailable and award a three-year non-compoundable jail-term instead of the present one-year imprisonment and a penalty. Section 509 deals with words, gestures or acts intended to outrage the modesty of a woman.