The Telegraph
Friday , July 25 , 2014
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Chain snatch spurs station third eye plea

A day after a Babadham pilgrim’s cellphone and gold chain were snatched by youths at Adityapur station, residents and NGO Jan Kalyan Morcha on Thursday demanded the installation of a four-member Government Railway Police (GRP) post and CCTV cameras on platforms for passenger safety.

On Wednesday evening around 7.45pm, when Danapur-Durg South Bihar Express halted at Adityapur station, four youths swooped on one Deoghar-bound passenger from Chhattisgarh, Bajrang Agrawal (35) of S-7 coach, who had been standing near the door of his compartment while speaking on the phone.

Two flashed knives at Agrawal and two others wrenched his cellphone and gold chain off him. Then, in the ensuring melee, the quartet sprinted off despite attempts by passengers to chase them.

Then, angry passengers forced the train to halt on tracks for the next 30 minutes or so while they lodged a complaint on the book kept with the train’s guard.

On Thursday, 30 residents and members of Jan Kalyan Morcha held a meeting to draw up a list of what could be done to beef up Adityapur station’s security and place it before Chakradharpur railway division authorities.

NGO president Om Prakash said it was not the first time a passenger fell victim to a criminal gang.

“Last August, a lone criminal threatened a passenger on Tata-Chhapra Express with a dagger and snatched his purse. The snatcher was caught due to prompt action of fellow passengers and handed over to the Adityapur police,” said Prakash.

Snatching apart, he added that clashes between touts and genuine passengers were a regular affair at the ticket reservation counter.

“In the absence of railway police, passengers have to face a tough time. A four-member post of Railway Protection Force exists at Adityapur station, but it is not adequate. That’s why we want a four-member post of the GRP and CCTV cameras as well,” he stressed.

On why a new post was needed, Prakash said: “Adityapur station sees a footfall of over 10,000 passengers. Over a dozen mail and express trains halt here. The station has grown in importance in recent years. Its security must also be strengthened.”

Agreed Adityapur resident Ram Gyan Sahi: “Passenger and train count at Adityapur station is growing by the day, but the security system has not kept pace.”

Mritunjay Kishore, superintendent of railway police at Tatanagar, 4km from Adityapur station, confirmed Wednesday’s snatching.

“We are trying to nab criminals. But as far as passenger safety is concerned, there is already an RPF post at Adityapur station,” Kishore told The Telegraph.