Train, platform security reviewed
Only 12 of 230 railway stations in Assam have CCTVs
GUWAHATI, July 13: The investigation into the back-to-back rape and murder of two women inside two different trains has led to the revelation that there are serious security lapses in trains and railway stations in Assam.
Talking to newsmen after holding a meeting with top officials of NF Railway on security of train travelers on Friday, State DGP Kuladhar Saikia said that he has ordered a drive against miscreants who loot train passengers after making them senseless by using various means. The DGP has also admitted that the strength of Government Railway Police (GRP) personnel is not adequate. He said that the issue of unauthorized vendors and hawkers inside railway platforms was discussed at the meeting. The DGP has ordered immediate identification of unauthorized hawkers and vendors in railway platforms. He has also ordered prevention of people from sleeping in platforms at night and entry of authorized persons there. Other issues that were discussed at the meeting are – providing security to special compartments like coaches meant for differently-abled people, unreserved compartments etc.
The DGP said that after the arrest of Bikash Das in Tinsukia, the prime accused in the rape and murder of two women, another accused, Bipin Pandey, was arrested from a train from Dimapur to Dibruagarh on Thursday night. The mobile phone of one of the women and the anklet and earrings of the other were seized from the accused. Two special investigation teams (SITs) comprising GRP, RPF and Assam Police personnel were formed to nab them. The SITs were divided into five/six units. Investigation is on to ascertain if the two accused have involvement in such crimes earlier or not.
Talking to the media after the meeting with the DGP, NF Railway’s Principal Chief Security Commissioner (RPF) MM Mishra admitted that only 12 of the 230 railway stations in the State have closed circuit televisions (CCTVs) installed in them. According to him, CCTVs are going to be installed in eight other railway stations in the State. While Guwahati Railway Station has 24 CCTVs mostly in platform No. 1 and nearby, Lumding Station has 17 CCTVs, Dibrugarh has 7, Tinsukia has 12 and Dimapur has 5 CCTVs. No railway station under Rangiya division has CCTV cameras.
The strength of RPF that looks after security inside trains is also not adequate. According to Mishra, 700 of the 2,500 sanctioned posts of the force meant for NF Railway are lying vacant. Mishra admitted that it is not possible on his part to deploy adequate number of RPF personnel in each and every railway station in the State. The number of women personnel in the force, according to Mishra, is just 27. * More on page 5