Foreign Woman Molested In Train, Co-Passenger Booked

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Bardhaman: A French doctor, touring India with a friend, was molested on a train on Sunday night while travelling from Jamalpur in Bihar to Howrah.

Police said, the 29-year-old French woman has been allegedly molested on a Kolkata-bound train by a co-passenger whom she had approached for a seat.

The woman was travelling with a male friend, also French, on the Jamalpur Express when the alleged incident occurred late on Sunday night near Pakur station in neighbouring Jharkhand.

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The French nationals headed to Calcutta did not have reserved seats and were standing near the door of the coach. Railway police sources said the co-passenger, Arshad Hossain, 35, came to the door with his luggage when the train was about to reach Pakur where he was to get off.

“Seeing Arshad about to get off the train, the French woman asked him whether there were any seats vacant in the coach. Arshad then led the couple to his seat and suddenly embraced her from behind,” a rail police officer said, citing the woman’s complaint.
The woman and her friend raised the alarm, after which Arshad punched her on the chest, the rail police sources said.

A police team travelling on the train rushed to the compartment and stopped Arshad from getting off at Pakur. Arshad hails from the Jharkhand town.

As the train reached Burdwan station around 4.30am, a few hours from Pakur, the train cops had him arrested. The French duo also got off at Burdwan and lodged a complaint.

The sources said Arshad denied the molestation charge and claimed before the police that there was a “misunderstanding because of language problems”.

Arshad was produced in a Burdwan court on Monday and remanded in judicial custody for three days. Public prosecutor Narad Kumar Bhuniya said: “I opposed the bail petition of the accused. I informed the court that since the complainant is a foreigner, it would send a wrong message about our judiciary if the accused was granted bail. The judge sent the accused to judicial custody.”

The woman also registered her statement before the magistrate. Later, before leaving for Calcutta, she described the incident as “very unfortunate”.

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