KARWAR:In the absence of adequate women police personnel in Konkan railway in the state, it has become difficult to crack liquor and drug smuggling cases involving women.There is only one woman railway police personnel in both Uttara Kannada and Udupi districts.
Konkan railway that connects port cities of Mangaluru and Mumbai passes through Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra states. In Uttara Kannada and Udupi districts, it passes through more than 200-km area and joins the Southern Railway at Mangaluru Junction. For this whole stretch of Konkan railway, there is only one woman police constable.
According to sources, a huge quantity of liquor and drugs are being smuggled to Uttara Kannada district from Goa. Many times, Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel seize a huge quantity of unclaimed liquor. Sometimes, RPF personnel are unable to seize liquor being carried by women in the absence of women’s police.
Between Uttara Kannada and Udupi districts, there are three RPF police stations --in Karwar, Bhatkal and Udupi. To these three stations, only 19 staff, including a woman staff attached to Karwar RPF station, have been sanctioned. There are no woman police staff at Bhatkal and Udupi stations.
A railway police official said: “Many times, women passengers are also found carrying liquor bottles in their bags. In the absence of women police in the raiding team, we are unable to check bags of women passengers and frisk them. Taking advantage of the absence of women police staff, several women are indulged in smuggling liquor bottles. It will be good if more number of women police staff are deployed in each railway police station.”
When Konkan Railway was started 20 years ago, the number of trains and the crimes reported were less.
“Only 19 posts, including a woman constable, were sanctioned to these three police stations. Now the number of trains has increased and so as the volume of passengers and crime,” the official added.