A 65-year-old woman passenger was allegedly strip searched by two women ticket checkers after she erroneously entered the first class compartment of a suburban local while carrying a second class ticket, following which the TCs have been suspended.
After a preliminary investigation, the two women TCs have been suspended, according to Western Railway Divisional Railway Manager Shailendra Kumar.
The woman had boarded a suburban local from Andheri station on July 25 and had mistakenly entered the first class compartment, with a second class ticket, according to her family members.
"When my mother-in-law was asked to show her ticket to the inspector present in the compartment, she was found to be travelling with a second class ticket. She was then made to get off the train at Mira Road station and was taken to the ticket checking staff's room," the woman's son-in-law told PTI.
"When she was asked to pay the fine, my mother-in-law told them she was not carrying more than Rs 25 with her. It was then that she was verbally abused and asked to remove her clothes to prove that she was not lying," he alleged.
Merely suspending the officials temporarily won't solve the problem, he said and demanded strict action against the two women.
"We had conducted a preliminary inquiry against the two women ticket checkers and we found out that they were prima facie guilty of strip searching the elderly women passenger. We will now conduct a detailed inquiry, only after which they will be punished if held guilty," Kumar said.
But the woman's family is not convinced.
"The government rules are such that they will be suspended only for a few months and will return back to work and continue with their behaviour. We want them to be punished in a way that would make sure no other railway official misbehaves with passengers again," said the son-in-law.
Meanwhile, Kumar said the TCs have not been proved guilty of committing the offence as yet and that they will be given a chance to defend themselves.
"Whatever happened should not have happened. We want to send a strong message that such kind of behaviour will not be accepted," Kumar said.