By Ram Parmar, Mumbai Mirror | Feb 5, 2014,
Jabin Iqbal, who had a chain tied to her leg, was apparently left behind by parents on Lokshakti Exp; three Palghar women came to her rescue.
A mentally ill teen was allegedly abandoned by her parents on a train to Ahmedabad on Monday.
Jabin Iqbal, 18, was found behaving oddly on Lokshakti Express, which departs from Bandra Terminus every evening, by three Palghar women who provided her food and water before taking her to a hospital.
Jabin has not been able to recall her parents’ name or where they live. But she told the three women that she was regularly beaten by her “abba” (father). Jabin had a chain tied to her right leg when she was found.
The Government Railway Police (GRP) said that they were trying to identify her parents and would ask a court which care facility she should be sent to. Currently, Jabin is admitted to Thane Mental Hospital, where doctors are evaluating her condition.
Jabin has said that she boarded Lokshakti Express with her parents at Bandra Terminus. The train’s departure time is 7.40 pm. It is not clear whether her parents alighted at Bandra itself or at another station. The train halts at Andheri, Borivali and Palghar.
“She was staring blankly at a ceiling fan in the ladies coach,” said 22-yearold Palghar resident Archana Nair, one of the three women who came to Jabin’s rescue.
“At first I thought she was sleeping and had suddenly woken up because of the noise of people getting on the train. I realised something was wrong when she continued to look at the ceiling.”
Many Palghar residents take Lokshakti Express for their daily commute. Archana, a management trainee at a Goregaon firm, boarded the train at Andheri on Monday evening. So did CA student Vinita Lakhiani, 23, and HR professional Shilpa Nair, 22.
Vinita said that she tried to talk to Jabin, but she gave vague replies. “She only said that her name was Jabin Iqbal and that she wanted to go to a mosque in Usmanpura,” Vinita said.
Usmanpura is a locality in Ahmedabad and home to a famous local mosque. “There a chain tied to her leg, which I found very shocking. It looked like she had been tortured by her family,” Shilpa said.
During her conversations with the three women, Jabin repeatedly said: “Abba ne mujhe kaha, jaa mar jaa (My father told me to die)”. “She also said that her father used to often beat her,” Archana said.
The three women shared food from their tiffin boxes with Jabin and also bought a bottle of water for her. “When the train stopped at Borivali station, we sought help from an RPF constable, but he refused to take her custody. He flatly said that it was not his job to help abandoned people,” Archana alleged.
They then tried to call the emergency helpline number of the Western Railway, but could not get through. The train reached Palghar at 9.40 pm.
“We had to get down, but we didn’t want to leave the girl behind. She was disoriented and someone could have harmed her,” Archana said. “We took her to the GRP at Palghar station.”
GRP Inspector Pramod Dawre said that doctors at Thane Mental Hospital were trying to determine the 18-yearold’s condition.