PATNA: The Railway Protection Force (RPF) registered 732 cases against 801 persons for selling unauthorised water bottle brands across 18 zones including the East Central Railway (ECR), headquarter at Hajipur in Bihar, on July 8 and 9 respectively.
The nationwide arrests were conducted under 'Operation Thirst' launched across the Indian Railway (IR) following the direction of director general of RPF A Kumar given to all the chief security commissioners.
Ravindra Verma, chief security commissioner of RPF in ECR, said, "A total 732 cases of selling unauthorised brands of bottled water were registered during the Operation Thirst and 801 persons including 154 from Bihar were arrested under 114 and 133 of the Railway Act."
Of total 48,860 water bottles seized, 12,405 were found to be of unauthorised brands. That is one of the biggest seizures of bottles in recent times in railways. Verma further said "The bottles of drinking mineral water unauthorized brands seized have been valued at Rs 1.64,841. A sum of Rs 1,74,440 was also collected in the form of fine from 154 persons arrested.".
Quoting directive of DG RPF, Verma further said that the Operation Thirst would be followed by special drive nationwide across all the 18 zones included ECR in order to curb this menace of sale of unauthorised brands of a bottle of water during the peak season of journey and rush of passengers.
Besides the arrest of 801 people, managers of four pantry cars of different express trains were also arrested for facilitating the sale of unauthorized brands of drinking water. The DG RPG A Kumar personally monitored this operation from New Delhi.