Home India News Railways U-turn on offering exclusive women train coaches to men

Railways U-turn on offering exclusive women train coaches to men

Kolkata : In a victory of sorts for female commuters who did not shy to clash with their male counterparts, the Eastern Railway on Friday announced reverting its earlier decision of offering coaches of women’s special trains to male passengers on the Sealdah division.

The Eastern Railway on Monday has announced offering a few coaches of the Matribhumi Ladies Special local trains to male commuters on an experimental basis contending that the trains operated under-capacity even during peak hours.

The decision sparked a controversy after female passengers resorted to agitation and blockades, disrupting train services on Monday and subsequently on Wednesday.

Monday’s agitation snowballed into a major clash leaving at least 20 people including a dozen police personnel injured after the commuters pelted stones and resorted to vandalism.

Similar scenes were witnessed on Wednesday when several female passengers allegedly engaged in fist fights and pushed and shoved men demanding the withdrawal of the announcement.

“The decision to offer the coaches to male commuters was made on an experimental basis and we have decided to withdraw that,” ER general manager R.K. Gupta told media persons here.

Train traffic was disrupted for over five hours on Wednesday after woman passengers blocked rail tracks in five stations in North 24 Parganas district demanding the trains be reverted back as exclusively for females.

Male passengers too resorted to train blockade, alleging that a couple of men were pushed out of the Mathrubhumi train.

Meanwhile, three railway officials have been suspended and a probe ordered into the Thursday’s incident in which signal failure at the Dum Dum station led two trains coming came close to each other on the same track.

“An enquiry has been ordered and three officials including two station masters have been suspended till the pendency of the probe,” said Gupta.