A policewoman captures a video of coaches of Jan Shatabdi Express at Ranchi station on Thursday. (Hardeep Singh)
Tech-savvy railway police have sent Ranchi’s bunch of station rogues packing this Durga Puja.
Ever since the men in uniform began training their video camera on platforms and coaches a week ago, there has been no report of snatching, theft or drugging-and-robbing.
“Earlier, during this time of the year, there was always a spurt in crime. The milling crowd in any festive season offers the perfect opportunity for snatchers, pickpockets and their ilk. But, our handycam surveillance is keeping gangs and individual offenders at bay,” said A.K. Gorai, the officer-in-charge of Ranchi railway police station.
The A-category station under South Eastern Railway, which was adjudged the best in terms of upkeep last year, hosts around 30 pairs of trains. And, on any given day, witnesses a footfall of 10,000. During Durga Puja, Diwali or Chhath, the passenger count increases manifold, offering ample scope for petty crimes. Drug-and-rob gangs have a field day with many passengers travelling on various routes for the first time.
“We receive at least two cases of drug-and-rob every Puja, not to mention the number of snatchings and thefts. But, this time has been different. The record is clean so far,” Gorai said.
Since last week, railway police teams embarked on their videography mission on trains, platforms and every strategic corner of the station premises. The digital record of passengers and others serve some key purposes — one, it helps police identify suspects after an incident is reported; two, it makes train rogues take cover; and three, the video account may also come in handy if there is a mishap.
“Videography creates pressure on the criminal psyche. It makes them apprehensive because they have no cover. And, fear either makes them withdraw, which has been the case at Ranchi station, or leave behind tell-tale evidence that help to nail them quickly,” Gorai said.
Video policing at the junction station will continue till Chhath next month.
Railway police in Dhanbad recovered 41 low-intensity bombs from Ganga Damodar Express, which arrived from Patna on Thursday. The pint-size explosives were found underneath berth No. 7 in coach S-5. One of them went off, but didn’t cause any damage
Bokaro police have launched a vehicle-checking drive in the steel city and Chas for safe Pujas. Special squads have been formed to keep tease gangs at bay. The helpline for women is 06542-220016. Canine cops are on alert against arms and explosives smuggling