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Extra cover for trains in Holi

The Government Railway Police and the Railway Protection Force have intensified operations against the gangs involved in drugging of passengers and stealing their belongings.

The joint operation was launched after a meeting of the officials of the Government Railway Police (GRP) and the Railway Protection Force (RPF) on Wednesday. Presided over by additional director-general of railways P.N. Roy, senior officials of the Danapur railway division, including divisional railway manager (DRM) N.K. Gupta, attended the meeting.

Deputy superintendents of police of four rail districts and the deputy commandant of the RPF were also present during the discussions on the security of train passengers.

The police and the railway officers decided in favour of maintaining a special vigil on some important trains, including Sampoorna Kranti Express, Vikramshila Express, Danapur-Howrah Express, Jansadharan Express, Magadh Express, Bihar Sampark Kranti Express and Palamu Express. These trains, sources said, are vulnerable to the gangs involved in drugging of passengers and stealing their belongings under the jurisdiction of the East Central Railway.

Drugging of passengers on running trains and theft of their belongings increase before and after Holi because of unusual rush in trains.

“We have decided to deploy policemen in plain clothes to keep a vigil on the activities of criminals,” Roy said, adding that instructions had been issued to launch operations against middlemen loitering around the ticket counters. He said passengers would be able to find security personnel on railway platforms during the festival of colour.

The leaves of GRP personnel had been cancelled and the officers had been asked to co-ordinate with RPF to check crimes on wheels. “Police escorting of some important trains has been strengthened,” he added.

The police officers have been asked to record the activities of passengers on certain trains on video. The passengers mostly come to the state from far-off places such as Surat (Gujarat), Delhi, Haryana, Punjab, Maharashtra and Calcutta (Bengal) during the festival.

The officers said labourers returning to their native places before Holi are easy targets of the gangs involved in drugging of train passengers.