Mumbai court sends man to 3 yrs in prison for sexual assault on Marathi child actor on local train
The incident occurred in the crowded general compartment of a local train when the girl was returning home from a shoot in Goregaon along with a male friend.
By Vidya : A special court in Mumbai has sentenced a man to three years in prison for sexually assaulting a minor girl on a crowded local train. The 16-year-old victim, a Marathi serial actor, had told the court that on the day of the incident in 2019, she was travelling by train from Goregaon to Thane along with her friend after a shoot.
The girl was studying in Class 12 at the time, and used to travel to Goregaon for her work in the Marathi serial. After the shoot, she used to travel back home on the local train.
When the girl changed trains at the Dadar Railway Station around 8.30 pm, the accused who was standing behind her in the general compartment first kept his hand on her shoulder, and when she turned to look at him angrily, he sexually assaulted her.
The girl shouted and slapped the man, but since it was a fast local train, she and her friend could get off only at Mulund. They handed over the accused to the railway police, who brought all of them back to the Dadar Railway Station and filed the FIR.
The 32-year-old Thane resident, Omhari Singh, strongly refuted the allegations, even disputing that the girl got into the general compartment as there are separate coaches for women.
However, Special Judge PP Bankar reasoned, "No doubt there are separate coaches for women in trains, but definitely entry of women on a general coach is not restricted or prohibited and they can travel on a general coach like any other passenger. Besides this, it is a prosecution case that at the relevant time, the victim was travelling with her male friend. If they both had to travel together, the victim was required to travel in a general coach along with her male friend."
The accused alleged that as the train was crowded and the person who committed the offence was standing behind the victim, there was no opportunity for her to see the accused. Therefore, there is mis-identification of the accused.
However, the judge reasoned that the victim had turned and looked at the accused when he kept his hand on her shoulder. "It is sufficient to identify him. Besides this, the further incident is very important. The victim along with her friend caught the accused in the train itself," said the Judge designated to hear cases under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act.
On the 3-year sentence, the accused said that he has a wife and two children to look after and is doing labour work and does not have any criminal antecedents. However, the judge said, "The incident took place in a very crowded area. There is a very adverse impact of the incident on the victim girl, on her family members and society. Such types of incidents are causing alarm in the minds of people and show that girls are not safe in society, even when they are surrounded by many people."