Long-distance trains to have more security

Aug 10, 2014, 06:33 IST | Shashank Rao

RPF officials will conduct checks on trains and station platforms after the purse of CR general manager’s wife was stolen on August 8

You can expect quick action when calamity strikes a top bureaucrat’s wife. In the wee hours of Friday, the purse of the wife of SK Sood, general manager, Central Railways, was stolen on Delhi-bound Rajdhani Express. The very same day, Indian Railways issued directives to all states up to Delhi, including Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan to beef up security on long-distance trains and station platforms where they halt.

Long-distance trains to have more security
Train attendants on long-distance trains will keep a strict check  on suspicious passengers or activity

The first to take action was the Railway Police Force (RPF) of Western Railway, which has decided to maintain vigilance at station platforms that fall under its jurisdiction where long-distance trains halt between 12 am and 5 am.

The incident
“My wife lost cash and valuables worth Rs 1 lakh, and the empty purse was found dumped near a toilet later. Security forces in all states that fall in this route have already begun a search operation. Officials will question passengers alighting the train at odd hours and even verify their berth, apart from keeping tab on any unscrupulous element,” said Sood. Coincidentally the Senior Divisional Security Commissioner (Mumbai), Anand Vijay Jha, was travelling as a passenger to Delhi in the same train.

Meanwhile, the Railways authorities have identified Kota and Ratlam among stations where miscreant groups carry out rampant robberies under the nose of the security forces.

Senior RPF officers, on condition of anonymity, said, “Late at night, the thieves move about in the train behaving like well-cultured people and identify families and individuals carrying valuables. Since most passengers are asleep, they can easily slip out of the train at the next stop.”

The train attendants have also been asked to inform security forces if they notice any suspicious passenger or activity. “The RPF will also investigate the matter to check whether any train staff member was involved,” said DB Kasar, Chief Security Commissioner, WR.

Last night, another theft of valuables worth R25,000 was reported on Delhi-bound Rajdhani. An FIR has been registered at GRP Delhi.

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