After clash, women reach out to ‘brother commuters’ on Raksha Bandhan

Kolkata, Aug 29 (IANS) Having reclaimed what they asserted was rightfully theirs — an exclusive train for females — women commuters of the Matribhumi Ladies Special local trains on Saturday extended the olive branch by tying rakhis to their male counterparts.

Far from what was more of a territorial battle between the two sexes, it was all hunky dory as women commuters were seen tying rakhis on the wrists of their male counterparts who gleefully vowed to protect their sisters.

Enraged over the Eastern Railway’s August 17 decision of offering a few coaches of the ladies special trains on the Sealdah division, women commuters staged demonstrations and even clashed with men passengers resulting in many people including policeman sustaining injuries.

The men too resorted to agitation, alleging that a few of them were pushed out of the trains by women.

The demonstrations, which disrupted train traffic on August 17, and again on August 19, prompted the railways to make a U-turn and restore the exclusive right of the women passengers on the Matribhumi trains.

Contending that such trains were operating under capacity even during peak hours, Eastern Railway had made an announcement of offering a few general coaches in the ladies special on an experimental basis.

The withdrawal of the offer was made on August 21 by Eastern Railway general manager R.K. Gupta during Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu’s visit to the city.

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