Safety takes a back seat at Ranchi junction
February 20: a passenger lost his briefcase to snatchers on board the stationary Tata-Chhapra Express. The resident of Burmamines lodged an FIR with Tatanagar GRP. He is yet to get back what he lost
February 24: a man posing as an IPS officer arrested on board Hatia-Howrah train in Ranchi. An FIR has been lodged, but probe is tardy
Passengers at two A-category and half a dozen other stations in Jharkhand are at grave risk, thanks to the dwindling number of GRP officers.
Eighteen posts of sub-inspectors (SIs) under the superintendent of railway police (SRP) are lying vacant for nearly two months, leaving the station force almost crippled across the state.
The SRP has nine police stations, four thana outposts and four pickets under his jurisdiction. The police stations are at Tatanagar, Ranchi, Muri, Hatia, Bokaro, Chandil, Bandamunda, Chakradharpur and Ghatshila.
“The sanctioned posts of SIs for all the police stations, outposts and pickets are 44. But, we are managing operations with only 26. Of the 18 other sub-inspectors, four were promoted as inspectors and the rest transferred to the district police squad over the past month and a half,” SRP Mrityunjay Kishore said.
The GRP exercise their jurisdiction from the outer signal to inner signal of any railway station. The force deals with cases of accident, suicide, theft, robbery, drugging and molestation. Any such crime occurring between the two signal areas, tracks or a platform needs to be probed by them.
The GRP is also required to maintain law and order on platforms in general and conduct surprise inspections to thwart possible rebel attacks. All these acts of policing are largely dependent on sub-inspectors.
A concerned Kishore said he had already shot letters to the police headquarters in Ranchi, GRP bosses and the IG. He conceded that inadequate number of officers was affecting investigations into cases registered at railway police stations. On an average, five cases are registered at each of the nine railway police stations every day.
“Sub-inspectors shoulder the burden of preliminary investigations into the cases and then file charge sheets. In their absence, our hands are tied and the accused are getting the benefit,” Kishore said.
A Tatanagar GRP sub-inspector complained of tremendous workload. “There are just two of us here instead of five. We don’t get a leave even if there is any emergency. Times are difficult,” he echoed his senior, albeit on the condition of anonymity.
Kishore pointed out that transfers and promotions were normally followed by a replacement procedure, which was yet to happen in their case.
Have you received GRP help in times of need at stations?