Women who travel by the Delhi metro, or in fact, any public transport are all too familiar with acts of sexual harassment that get often dismissed as instances of micro-aggression. Be it men sitting on ladies seats and refusing to get up despite the obvious sign and even after being told, a subtle brush of a hand on the butt or a lingering presence of a pressing body from behind in a crowd, women live through many horrors every single day.
One such woman took to Twitter to share such an incident, where a man allegedly flashed his penis at her on the Delhi metro, in what appeared to be a relatively empty coach.
She shared a photo of the man, unsure of when she took it, saying that she was "numbed by the incident." The timestamp on the photo shows 6:11 PM and the location marked is Sultanpur water treatment plant, even though it was taken after the incident. The woman is also unsure of when the man got off the metro.
She detailed her narrative on Twitter, tagging Delhi Metro Rail Corporation and Delhi Police. She also added that the image was shared on Twitter "hours" after the incident happened.
(1/6)This man(right, grey jacket+backpack) flashed his penis at me inside #Delhi Metro around 6PM while I was returning from work today. Feel shaken, numb & angry. Didn't even remember I had taken this pic till I spoke to a friend hours later. @OfficialDMRC @DelhiPolice @DCWDelhi pic.twitter.com/3GQACconKw— Rashmi Singh Rana (@RashmiSinghRana) February 12, 2020
(3/6)I can recall the numbness and dread I felt all over my body when I saw it and looked away. He was carrying that bag infront of his penis to hide it from the front. He stayed at that position for maybe a minute while my eyes were glued to the floor...— Rashmi Singh Rana (@RashmiSinghRana) February 12, 2020
(5/6)...But I don't know at which station this man got off. I just know that he did not get off from the door infront of which he is standing in the pic. He walked towards the other side of the coach and I did not see him.— Rashmi Singh Rana (@RashmiSinghRana) February 12, 2020
(6/6)Contacted my friend later & she encouraged me to report it. Regret that I wasn't able to call him out there & then. Wish I could have gotten over the sickening, numbing feeling sooner, & taken action quicker. Sad that my 1st tweet is about a sexual harassment experience.— Rashmi Singh Rana (@RashmiSinghRana) February 12, 2020
The Delhi Metro Railway Corporation responded to her tweet, and while they did mention that they were taking looking into the matter, they also included that she should have been prompter so that swifter action could have taken place.
Hi Rashmi, the matter is being looked into. However, in such cases passengers are requested to report the matter immediately to us at 155370 (DMRC helpline) and 155655(CISF Helpline) or contact the nearest Metro official so that immediate action can be taken.— Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (@OfficialDMRC) February 13, 2020
It just wasn't DMRC who appeared to be taking her request lightly. She shares as an update that she called the Women's helpline, who just redirected her to the Ghitorni police station.
Update(2/3)I called up the women's helpline to ask where one should file an FIR in this case and she forwarded my complaint to the respective police station. Weirdly, Just received a call from the Ghitorni police station who informed me the complaint will be filed with them.— Rashmi Singh Rana (@RashmiSinghRana) February 13, 2020
Update(3/3) A sub-inspector from Ghitorni police station is on his way to file my complaint.— Rashmi Singh Rana (@RashmiSinghRana) February 13, 2020
Despite having designated seats for women in every coach as well as a designated women's only compartment on every single train, DMRC often faces complaints of sexual harassment. In June last year, a 29-year-old woman took to Twitter to share a similar account when a man allegedly masturbated in front of her at the Huda City Centre Metro Station complex in Gurugram.
As per a 2019 report in India Today, cases of sexual harassment of women on Delhi Metro was on the rise with many women complaining of lewd remarks, catcalls, and sexually abusive behaviour on trains or at stations.