Loss of Home Guards compromising security

Updated: Feb 15, 2020, 07:36 IST | The Editorial | Mumbai

A report in this paper shed light on the Railway police being supported by Home Guards mainly at ticket counters, platforms, railway foot overbridges, railway track crossings, and inside women's coaches at night

Women's compartments in Mumbai's local trains will have no cop guarding it at night now. Pic/Istock
Women's compartments in Mumbai's local trains will have no cop guarding it at night now. Pic/Istock

Around 2,000 Home Guards deployed for railway security, especially inside women's coaches during late-night hours, have stopped reporting to duty since Tuesday over payment problems.

A report in this paper shed light on the Railway police being supported by Home Guards mainly at ticket counters, platforms, railway foot overbridges, railway track crossings, and inside women's coaches at night.

Though Railways said they are taking precautions to ensure passenger safety and Home Guards officials claim they are in the middle of a dialogue, it is imperative that funds are released and security is re-established, especially in women's compartments.

It is ridiculous that on the one hand, we upgrade our Railways and introduce air-conditioned trains. While on the other hand, people are not paid for seven to eight months, making it difficult for them to run their homes, as unpaid Home Guards have claimed in the report.

Authorities may have to compromise on the safety aspect, as so many Home Guards have been forced to take a break because of non-payment of dues.

Railways only has to take one glance at its recent history to note how many attacks take place in women's compartments in trains. From assaults and thefts, women are targetted in these compartments, so it is vital to have security late in the night and in the early morning hours, especially.

Whatever the wrangle and reasons for non-payment, this has to be solved expeditiously. One has to prioritise the humanitarian and justice issue. Think about all those who have worked without pay for months and the struggle that they must have faced. Their burning frustration and anger. They need to be paid all their dues and when they resume work, pay them their salaries on time. The security aspect cannot be emphasised enough. Home (Guards) is where the heart is.

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