Chennai: In a shocking incident that took place in the state of Tamil Nadu, Police and Train Ticket Examiners turned a blind eye to passengers’ plea when a group of men were consuming alcohol inside the AC compartment. Arti (name changed to protect identity) and her mother had reservations in the Kanyakumari Express last week and boarded the same from Tambaram late evening. After taking their allotted seats, they noticed the aforementioned group in the adjacent berth offering food and trying to interacting repeatedly with a mother-daughter duo seated on the side berth.
In deep distress, the pair sought help from the ladies who boarded the train from Tambaram. It was revealed that the mother and her minor daughter had reservations on the seats which was forcibly occupied by the men. who immediately started consuming alcohol. Arti decided to act and secretly managed to grab pictures of the miscreants. She even approached the TTE seeking help in her awareness that consuming alcohol in public places is strictly prohibited.
Trains are generally believed to be safe for people especially the AC compartments which a number of people among the educated class prefer. But to their horror, the TTE brushed aside their plea and told them to put up with the group. Further adding to these passengers’ misery was the police inspector boarded the train at Villapuram after Arti had called the police helpline. According to the blog, the sub-inspector retorted by launching a defence for the group. He went on to stress that if the mother-daughter duo have a problem then they must disembark and file an official complaint in writing; thereby abandon their journey midway.
Arti, who is a doctor by profession, once again called the helpline. This time the executive asked to write an official complaint which was later collected by the police officials who boarded the train at Virudhachalam. However, no action was taken nor did the police speak a word to the guzzlers, who continued to feel amused at all the events. The helplessness felt by these female passengers is simply appalling . Adding to it, the group continued their party till the train concluded its journey early in the morning, basking in glory that nobody could prevent them from drinking alcohol openly.
Expressing shock and disappointment Arti says, “The most frustrating part was that he (the Policeman) didn’t even bother to warn those people or even talk to them. Not a word was spoken to the culprits. Those men having understood that we couldn’t do anything to them even after our hardest efforts just kept laughing at us, at our helplessness. And all of us, the ones who dared to raise our voice against the wrongs had to spend a restless night worried that they might hurt us in retaliation.”
We are well aware that people consume alcohol in train by mixing it with soft drinks, discreetly while at that to ensure that nobody punishes them. Why did the police not take action when these people were openly flouting the rules? Why did the TTE show a carefree attitude? Is the common man so helpless that anyone with political connections or those who can afford to throw money will always have things their way; irrespective of what the law states?
The passengers were undoubtedly worried and spent a sleepless night. Does this not invoke fear on every mother whose child is perhaps traveling alone or with a group, who might fall victim to a rogue group or drunkards! One can only hope that such incidents are brought to the attention of higher authorities and prompt action is taken against the wrongdoers.