press club of india, Indian Tehalka News
Clashes broke out between women and men passengers at the Khardah railway station in North 24 Parganas district of West Bengal on Monday after the railways decided to open up a few coaches of women-only trains to men.
A large police contingent rushed in and resorted to a baton charge and lobbed tear-gas shells to break up the crowd.
Train services were affected, several passengers and policemen were injured and railway property was damaged in the violence, which started after women passengers blocked trains at Khardah protesting the decision to open up a few coaches of the Matribhumi Ladies Special trains to men. They had detained the Dn Ranaghat Sealdah Matribhumi local (31602) since 9.02 a.m., Eastern Railway said in a press release.
Railway officials said that at peak hours, Matribhumi trains had no more than 30 per cent of occupancy and it was a section of women passengers who had asked the Railways to allow men in a few coaches for the convenience of their relatives.
After the women lifted the blockade around 10.50 a.m., the men passengers started a protest, the stalemate continuing past noon. Twenty pairs of local trains were cancelled.
Senior officers of the Barrackpore Police Commissionerate said 12 policemen were injured in the violence. So were several passengers and men of the Government Railway Police. “Four passengers, including a woman, have been arrested,” a senior police officer said.
From: The Hindu