"You are like my sister. Don't be afraid. I am here."
A woman in India was sexually harassed by another passenger on a train after he saved her from a chain snatcher.
The incident took place late on November 24, 2020, on a train in Mumbai.
The victim was going to meet her brother in Kandivali and had boarded the train at 11:45 pm.
At that time, there was only one passenger on the train identified as 32-year-old Rahim Shaikh, who was asleep.
According to police, moments after she boarded the train, another man named Omprakash Dikshit followed the woman.
He held a knife to her throat and demanded to hand over her gold necklace and mobile phone.
As the women cried for help, Shaikh came to her rescue. Police say Shaikh hit the thief in the head and forced him to flee the train.
In her complaint, the woman reported that Shaikh assured her that she was safe, saying:
“You are like my sister. Don’t be afraid. I am here.”
However, the woman reported that as the train was about to leave the station, Shaikh called Dikshit back inside.
As the train moved between Borivali and Kandivali stations, Shaikh molested the woman and stole her necklace and phone.
Both men got off the train at Kandivali.
The woman immediately raised an alarm and the policeman on duty managed to apprehend Dikshit.
Bhaskar Pawar, Senior Inspector of Borivali railway police station said:
“The CCTV cameras at the station has given some clue about the molester. We rushed several teams to Kandivali station nab Shaikh.
“We came to know he was a known drug addict and looked for him at public bathrooms he used to frequent in slums.”
Police arrested Shaikh on November 26, 2020, from Kandivali West.
SI Pawar added: “The two men do not know each other and are not connected in any way.
“Shaikh only made a show of helping the woman and then sensed an opportunity to steal from her.”
Crimes on Mumbai trains are a common issue.
In fact, Maharashtra gained the dubious distinction of having the highest crime rate on railways in 2019, according to the National Crime Records Bureau.
The Indian state recorded 45% of the total railway crimes in the country.
Over 45,300 FIRs were registered on Maharashtra railways in 2019, of which 91% were of thefts, particularly cellphone and gold chains as they are the most valuable easy to carry and pawn item available.
The Indian commissioner of railway police, Ravindra Sengaokar explained that:
“Cellphone thefts are recorded the most in Mumbai. Densely crowded local trains pose a challenge in prevention.
“Often, the stolen phones are dismantled and the spare parts immediately sold off.
“In some instances even if the phone location is tracked down, recovering the handset isn’t easy as it could have crossed national borders.
“During the lockdown alone, we traced 700 stolen phones.”