CHENNAI: Bucking the national trend, the number of crimes against railway passengers in Tamil Nadu has witnessed a sharp decline in the last two years. Going by the data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), rail commuters are relatively safe in Tamil Nadu, compared to 13 other states, including smaller ones such as Gujarat and Haryana.
According to the NCRB data, the Government Railway Police (GRP) in Tamil Nadu, which has the responsibility of protecting lives and properties of rail passengers, registered 1,218 cases in 2016 as against 1,789 in the previous year. In 2014, the GRP registered 2,728 cases in the State. The 1,218 cases in 2016 include 483 thefts, 34 robberies, and 209 cases registered under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000.
While the number of crime cases, including robbery, theft and assault on rail passengers, increased at the national level from 46,688 in 2014 to 53,547 in 2015, crimes in Tamil Nadu dipped. The State accounted for only two per cent of 61,952 crime cases registered by the GRP in the country in 2016.
A senior GRP official said that deployment of security personnel during night travel and closure of coach doors between 1 am and 4 am had brought down the crime rate drastically.
“Night patrol personnel posted for every 120 km in night trains have to ensure that doors are closed between 1 am and 4 am in all coaches. This has drastically brought down the crime graph in moving trains,” the official said, adding that various modes of complaints available for passengers, including emergency numbers such as 132 and 182 have also helped improve the safety of rail passengers.
The NCRB data was generated based on the First Information Reports filed by the GRP.
The Southern Railway has 5,075-km-long tracks covering Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Puducherry and some portions of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, out of which 3,846-km-long tracks run through Tamil Nadu. The GRP has been serving in Chennai and Tiruchy districts under the control of SP-rank officials.