CHENNAI: Following the brutal daylight murder of IT techie S Swathi right on the platform of the Nungambakkam railway station, suburban rail users have recommended that armed policemen be posted at stations to deter anti-social elements.
The suggestion was made at a meeting organised by K K Ashraf, Senior Divisional Security Commissioner (Chennai Division) on Friday, which saw the presence of representatives from about a dozen railway user forums. After the meet, V Santhanam, president of Chromepet rail users forum told Express, “Ever since last week’s incident, the focus has shifted to security concerns of passengers, especially of women commuters.”
He said passengers encounter undesirable elements at platforms, very often in an inebriated condition. “We told the Commissioner that steps should be taken to ensure that such people, who also remain for long hours on the platform, are removed,” said Santhanam.
At the meeting, several suggestions were made to the Security Commissioner. Apart from stationing armed railway police, a local safety committee comprising NGOs and social activists was mooted at all railway stations to report instances of security threats to law enforcement agencies. Another suggestion was that alarm systems should be installed to warn public about any emergency, besides provision of first aid kits at stations to render immediate assistance to the injured.
Speaking to Express, Ashraf told the meeting was organised to draw up an action plan aimed at addressing security concerns at suburban stations.
“At the meeting, we got several good suggestions regarding the rising of boundary walls and ensuring access control at stations,” he said.
The Commissioner also said that they would be reaching out to workplaces and educational institutes to sensitise them to security issues. The participants were also informed that steps are underway to install CCTV cameras sanctioned under the Nirbhaya scheme of the Central government in 82 stations in the Chennai division by the end of the year.