A teenager accused of stealing a bag in the AC-3 tier compartment of the Howrah-Jodhpur Express was stripped and humiliated by the passengers and her hair was shaved off.
Lalit Tyagi, a local police official, told the Times of India that passengers strip-searched the teenager, and they even attacked the Train Ticket Examiner (TTE). “Passengers verbally abused me. They accused me of being her associate when I asked them to hand over the girl to GRP. It was sheer barbarism, the way they treated the poor child. Women stripped her, while a few men assaulted her. They cut her hair,” S.K. Sharma, the TTE said.
Her father, a manual laborer, said that his daughter was 17, but the police put down her age as 19 on the FIR and that she was not treated as a juvenile offender. She has been booked for theft under the Indian Penal Code.
The father also said that his daughter has suffered from mental illness after she developed a brain tumour for which she is being treated at the Saifai hospital in Uttar Pradesh. He said that the local judge before whom his daughter was produced did not take her mental condition into consideration.