While the year is far from over, the Mumbai railway division has already clocked 2,143 deaths and 1,938 injuries on its train tracks between January and mid-August, casting a shadow on all of the government Railway Police’s (GRP) efforts to curb such accidents.
While the railway police have undertaken several drives to discourage trespassing, passengers continue to cross railway lines every day, putting their lives in jeopardy
To make matters worse, 708 of the deceased are yet to be identified and claimed by family or friends. “The bodies in such cases are damaged beyond recognition and identifying them with the help of just their clothes and other belongings is really difficult,” said a senior railway police official.
Ravinder Kumar Singal, commissioner of police (GRP), said, “We are trying our best to gather all possible information about the dead persons so we can contact their relatives. Though in some cases we have not found success yet. In most such cases, the bodies are so badly damaged that they cannot be recognised.”
An official said that when bodies are found on the tracks, a detailed investigation is conducted for the proper recognition and identification of the victim. Apart from enquiring in nearby areas, the railway police also sends their pictures to different police stations in and out of the city.
“We also preserve the skull or thigh bone of the deceased for future recognition by their relatives. Also other formalities like the post mortem are kept for records at our HQ,” said the official said. According to Singal, the railway police has been working on the www.shodh.gov.in website which provides profiles of the victims, both deceased and surviving, with details like pictures and identification marks.
“Passengers come here from all over India and even from abroad. In such cases, the website plays a very crucial role in finding missing persons. We are upgrading the website so that unidentified or missing passengers can be traced quickly,” he added.