How Delhi Metro's CISF women combat team deals with men in the ladies' coach

Miss Alone

Prime VIP
You would have perhaps noticed that there are more women CISF officers around when you travel in the Metro now. That's because a women combat team was created some time ago by the Delhi Metro CISF, after they received a number of complaints regarding misbehaviour with women in the Metro. But this special team does very little actual combat - they say they usually end up in mild verbal combat with the many men who, feeling 'protective' of their female companions, insist on travelling in the Metro's ladies' coach. Among their more amusing experiences, they say, are boyfriends who readily become their girlfriends' 'brothers' when asked to leave the women's coach! We went along on a Metro ride one day recently to experience what a usual day is like for them.

Maximum women's complaints from the Red Line
Raghubeer Yadav, DIG, CISF, told us, "We formed this team because in the past few months, complaints regarding misbehaviour with women have gone up, and it's the ladies' coach, not the general coaches, which generate the maximum complaints." After this increase in complaints, the team has been facing additional pressure. About 12 officers of the combat team board the Metro daily around 3.30pm for their 4-11 pm duty to monitor the ladies' coach. Here's a look at one such shift.
We boarded the Metro from Rajiv Chowk to Kashmere Gate and then took the Red Line to Rithala with a team of three lady CISF officials. They told us, "The most notorious line is the Red Line. Other lines see offenders after 8-9pm, but in the Red Line, men travel freely in the women's coach even during the day, and so whoever is on duty in the Red Line has to be alert. The Violet Line has the smallest number of complaints."

Dilli ke admiyon ka ego bahut bada hai
As we talked, a train arrived on the platform at the Kanhaiya Nagar station and there were 4-5 men inside the ladies' coach. Some of them moved back into the adjoining general coach when they saw the officers, but some still stayed where they were. A senior officer asked one such gentleman to move, saying, "Nikaliye yahan se, yahan kya kar rahe hain aap?" The man said, "My wife had an operation and now I am standing with her so she doesn't feel uneasy." The officer asked him to move back a little and stand on the divider, but he refused and started arguing with them. She then instructed a junior officer to escort him out of the Metro, but the man, now quite ruffled, started shouting at both officers. She replied calmly, "Did I say anything to you? I said it's fine, your wife is ill, just move back a little so other ladies don't feel uncomfortable." But then he lost his temper and asked his wife to show them her wound. The wife, in turn, started blaming him for creating a scene, and finally she folded her hands and asked the officer to let them go. The CISF officer said, "Why are you saying sorry? This man is not even feeling guilty for what he did." After half an hour, the couple boarded another Metro and left without paying the fine.
The officer later told us, "Dilli ke admiyon ka ego bahut bada hai. She might not be well, we are also human, but we wanted the man to learn his lesson. Next time, he will hopefully think twice before stepping inside the ladies' coach."

Girlfriend? She's my sister!

Twelve more fines later, a couple in the ladies' coach was asked to come out of the train. The girl said, "I was traveling alone, but someone stole my wallet, that's why I had to call him (her companion)." When the officers refused to believe her, the guy said, "Behen hai yeh meri, chahe isi se poochh lo."
The official told us, "Couples are something of a nuisance - the guys are so 'concerned' about the 'safety' of their women companions in the women's coach that they accompany them. This is the favourite excuse of all the couples we stop - in one minute, they become willing to call each other their siblings. We explain to them that we are not on a couple hunt - bhai ka fine bhi same hai."

In four-five hours, about 30-40 men were fined for giving excuses, ranging from 'bheed zyada thi' to 'dhakka laga aur ladies coach mein aa gaye', to 'I'm looking for my mother' and even 'I lost my bag'. A senior CISF officer, who has been on Metro duty for the past three years, said, "I am tired of these old excuses. I hope they come up with something new, something smarter next time."
40-400 men evicted daily from ladies' coach
After the team deboarded at Kanhaiya Nagar to check the coaches, a senior lady CISF officer told us, "Those who travel in ladies' coach do so intentionally. Every day, around 40-400 men are caught travelling in the ladies' coach." The officers have been trained to deal with commuters patiently, but sometimes, the conversations really do test their patience, they say. These strict, alert CISF officers, on their guard at all times, often find themselves answering questions like 'Do you know from which side I can board the Blue Line?' or 'Which side can take me to the exit gate?' and 'How do I get to a cinema hall?' The officials laugh it off and tell us, "Thankfully, we get these queries more often than we get complaints!"