NEW DELHI: In a worrying trend, the crime against women passengers and incidents of thefts of passengers’ belongings are on a rise in trains in last three years across the country. Nearly two women passengers face crime incidents every day while there are 50 cases of thefts per day on trains.
According to data collated by Indian Railways, the highest numbers of such incidents are reported from central, northern and western zones respectively. Railway has paid Rs 8.17 lakh in last three year as compensation and assistance to victims.
Railway registered 17925 cases of thefts in trains in 2016 while it was 16180 in 2016 and 12161 in 2014. A similar trend was seen in incidents of crime against women, as from 454 cases in 2014, it rose to 553 in 2015 and 606b in 2016.
The case of dacoity has marginally increased while the incident of robbery has come down between 2014 and 2016.
Two different agencies provide security and protection against crimes such as theft, loot, dacoity and crimes against women passengers being committed in trains. There has been a demand by railways that there should be one agency to handle crime on trains and stations.
Policing on Railways being a state subject, prevention of crime, registration of cases, their investigation and maintenance of law and order in Railway premises as well as on running trains are the statutory responsibility of the State Governments, which they discharge through Government Railway Police (GRP) under various provisions of Criminal Procedure Code and Indian Penal Code, etc .
Railway Protection Force (RPF) supplements efforts of GRP by providing and security of passenger area and passengers and for matters connected therewith under various sections of Indian Railway Act.
Explaining about the measures taken to check crime in trains, surveillance is kept through CCTV cameras, provided at about 344 stations over Indian Railways, to ensure safety and security of passengers and security helpline 182 is operational for passenger related assistance.
“On vulnerable and identified routes/sections, 2500 trains (on an average) are escorted by Railway Protection Force daily, in addition to 2200 trains escorted by Government Railway Police of different states daily,” said a senior railway officer.
To check crime against women, the train escorting parties have been briefed to keep extra vigil on the ladies coaches en-route and at halting stations and the ladies special trains running in Metropolitan cities are being escorted by lady RPF constables.