Incident of harrassment by Central Trains driver

The following is a report which was posted to Deenport earlier today, regarding a distressing incident affecting a young Muslim woman on a train in the English East Midlands. Central Trains is the main local train operator for the English Midlands; they operate both commuter trains around Birmingham and cross-country trains. (BBC report here.)

Racist Central Trains Driver holds Muslim girl Captive

A 21 year old Muslim female student, born in Leicester, was locked in train carriage and held against her will by a Central Trains driver on Sunday 4th June. The day which started off as a routine Sunday, ended up to be the most traumatic experience for this young student who has been making this commute between Leicester and Birmingham for the last three years.

The scheduled 18:14 train departing to Birmingham arrived at 17:45 and the young female student did what millions of commuters do daily, and boarded the train. Being a seasoned traveler taking her usual route she took a seat in the carriage adjacent to the train driver assuming this would be the safest location. The train’s engine was on and the first driver got off the train walking past and did not say anything to her. The train driver to Birmingham boarded the train appearing to make preparations for the outbound journey as typical.

The train driver then abruptly made an announcement that this train is for Sheffield. Upon hearing this, the female student collected her belongings and attempted to exit the train. At this point the train driver confronted the student and aggressively commanded her to get off the train but he had physically blocked the door. The young female stated the wall boards confirmed this was the train to Birmingham but the train driver with increased hostility angrily told her to leave the train. The smirking train driver got off the train and locked the doors with the female still inside the train. The train driver along with a colleague stood laughing on the outside watching the trapped young female running to both ends of the carriage attempting to exit the train.

Fearing for her safety she immediately dialed 999 and hysterically explained her situation to the police officer. The fear of being imprisoned coupled with a history of violent asthma attacks, triggered by anxiety, left her in a traumatic state. The officer called in the British Transport Police to urgently attend the situation and stayed on the phone with her as the young female was extremely scared of the consequences of the returning train driver. The two train drivers returned and once again violently ordered her off the train with both of them blocking the exit. Unable to talk and instilled with fear the sobbing female asked the officer what to do and was instructed not to move and stay on the train until the British Transport police arrive. She informed the driver that she had the police on the line and was advised to give her mobile to the driver to enable the officer to speak to him. The train driver snatched the phone from her and told the police officer he would apologise without letting the officer finish and thrust the phone back at the young female. The officer said he sounds “awful” and asked if he had touched her. The train driver also refused to give his name and was not wearing his badge which, as advised by the police, is a public order offence. The officer on the line confirmed that the British Transport police are at the station and ended the call confirming this has been recorded.

After the call ended another male train worker arrived and joined the other two men in threatening the lone young female student off the train. She confirmed she was not moving until the British Transport Police arrive as advised by the 999 officer. The arriving male train worker said “I’m here to tell you to get off the train and that the police are not coming, they are already gone”. Gripped with fear and cornered by three men with no hope of the police coming she took a seat. The train driver that locked her in continued his barrage of threats by stating he would not drive the train if she was on it and would send the bill of the cancelled train to her. Satisfied by the humiliation she underwent one of the train drivers suggest she be allowed to sit on the train. The train driver responded by stating he would “kick her off at South Wigston” (the next station).

The police suddenly arrived on the scene contradicting the lies spewed by the train workers that they had already departed. The officers led the young 21 year old female student to safety while they took the train drivers details. The train driver accused the female of ignoring his announcements and of having headphones under her headscarf. This accusation was later refuted during recording of the police statement when it was clear she had no audio equipment on her. The train driver could not be arrested because he had not physically attacked his female hostage. The train driver departed on the same train to Birmingham, (even though he had told the student it was for Sheffield), while she was taken to the police station to record her statement.

While recording her statement the police were shocked at the incident and supported and encouraged her to take this matter forward.

The victim strongly believes her head scarf, was the reason why she was subjected to racist bullying, taunting and harassment at the hands of the Central Trains drivers and is determined to seek justice. Furthermore, she has been left traumatized and in fear of traveling by train incase she encounters the same workers and is put through the same horrifying ordeal.

The sister is to be interviewed by Adrian Goldberg tomorrow, insha Allah, on the BBC Birmingham radio breakfast show, which runs from 7am to 10am. Frequency is 95.6FM and you can listen live here.

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