The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This Page
Ten trains soft targets
- Security priority for express services from Howrah

Calcutta, Oct. 26: Rattled by the increasing incidence of crime on wheels, the security top brass of the railways and their counterparts in the Government Railway Police and the Railway Protection Force have identified at least 10 express trains that need to be heavily guarded during the day as well as at night.

At a high-powered meeting held on October 24, it was decided that to begin with, priority would be given to express trains leaving Howrah and passing through Jharkhand, Bihar, Orissa or Assam. Later, other trains would also be brought under the security net.

A blueprint with details of security chinks and man-power requirement has been drawn up and the most vulnerable zones have been identified.

In order to manage manpower better, it has been decided that the GRP and the RPF would not simultaneously provide security on board a particular train. While the GRP comes under the jurisdiction of the state government, the RPF belongs to the railways.

Apart from increasing the number of security personnel on trains, it has also been decided that the force would be provided modern arms and offered wireless sets for instant communication among themselves and also with the guard and the driver of the train.

Besides the inspector general of police (railways), among those present were the chief security commissioner of South Eastern Railway and the senior deputy security commissioner of the Railway Protection Force, Kharagpur and Adra divisions.

In a bid to ensure that there are policemen on board at all times, the security chiefs of different railway zones have been asked to submit their report on ways to bring about co-ordination between the guarding agencies. This would be thrashed out at the next meeting to be held within the next two weeks.

'Since the security of passengers is our prime concern, we are trying to evolve an effective system of protection so that the entire manpower at disposal can be effectively deployed to cover the maximum number of trains. The whole idea is to instil a sense of confidence among those travelling by night,' said Mukul Sengupta, the inspector general of police (railways).

The meeting also discussed recent incidents of crime on wheels and observed that it was most important to cover the zones along the inter-state borders of Jharkhand and Orissa where organised gangs operate either at the crack of dawn or at midnight.

Email This Page