Molesting suspect held by police

Updated: 2012-06-15 02:43

By Zhou Wenting in Shanghai(China Daily)

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Molesting suspect held by police

Wearing a short skirt, a woman waits on a subway platform in Beijing during the evening traffic peak hours on Thursday. Wang Jing / China Daily

Opening women-only subway cars is 'not feasible', says metro official

A man suspected of molesting a young woman in the Shanghai metro on Wednesday has been apprehended by police.

"The molester, who was encircled by onlookers and was stopped by security guards on the platform, ran away from the spot but was arrested last night," said a publicity officer surnamed Sun from the Shanghai Public Security Bureau.

"Police officers are hearing this case now," he said.

The woman passenger, who was wearing denim shorts, said she suddenly felt something hot falling on her leg when the crowded subway was approaching the People's Square Station — the city's central and busiest station — during morning rush hour on Wednesday.

"I first thought that it was someone's food," she was quoted as saying by Shanghai Morning Post. She later found that it was the ejaculate from a man about 30 years old standing to her right.

The two had an argument on the platform and when she intended to call the police the man ran away.

Police said they are intensifying crackdowns on such incidents, which occur more often in summer.

In another case this week, a 27-year-old man, surnamed Huang, put his mobile phone into a woman's skirt for sneak shots while pretending to squat down and tie his shoe on a subway platform in Shanghai on Tuesday. He has been held in administrative detention by police on charges of invasion of privacy.

On May 17, a 44-year-old native of Shanxi province exposed himself to several young women on the Beijing subway. The man candidly confessed his actions and was held for administrative detention.

Guangzhou Daily recently launched a survey on its micro blog about the necessity to open women-only compartments after reports of several molestation cases. Around two in three respondents ticked "yes".

"Even if obscenity cases don't occur so frequently, people are kept close to each other in the full subways every day, which gives chances to those with bad intentions," said Huang Jianing, a white-collar worker in Shanghai who takes the metro every work day.

"I believe the incidence of sexual harassment is much higher than what's reported, because many victims keep it quiet. Society needs to show more respect and protection for women," said a native of Qingdao, Shandong province, who asked to be identified as Echo.

However, opponents believed the practice will aggravate the already overloaded subways, and this is also the reason the Shanghai metro has left out the proposal.

"There is a huge passenger flow in the city's metro system during rush hour. It's not feasible to open women-only compartments when vehicle numbers and transport capacity is obviously insufficient," said Lan Tian, a media officer at the Shanghai Metro's operation management center.

A woman in this situation can ask for help from passengers, metro workers on the platform and call police, Lan said.

"And women should better protect themselves and avoid scanty clothes in summer," he added.

However, women should not be criticized in this case, said Li Xia, an anthropologist working in women's studies and a senior editor at the Commercial Press.

"An alarm bell can be installed beside each row of seats, which is connected to the subway workers. Then the workers and the police can cope with a case immediately when the train stops at the next station," Li said.

She also mentioned she has noticed a specially marked waiting zone for female passengers in subway stations in Taiwan that have electronic surveillance and aim to protect women at night.

"Camera monitoring covers all the platforms and entrances of every station, so there is no need to mark a waiting area for women specifically," said Lan from Shanghai metro.