Central Railway to use ‘WhatsApp’ Messaging App to keep track of Rooftop travellers

Mumbai: Central Railway (CR) has decided to zero in on offenders using WhatsApp, a popular messaging service.

Railway employees will circulate images and videos of miscreants using the phone app.

Form a group of their own employees on the mobile messaging application Whatsapp to zero in on law breakers. The members will be assigned the circulating the images or videos of criminals snapped or received by them to help nab the culprits.

“Ticket-checking staff, Railway Protection Force (RPF) and Government Railway Police personnel, who are mostly on the field , will form a group and disseminate information on bag-lifters, pickpockets, molesters, rooftop travellers and those who perform stunts,” CR’s General Manager S K Sood told. Apart from the circulating images snapped by them, the staff can also upload stuff that has been received through commoners.

A reward of Rs 10,000 has been announced for those who help in getting miscreants booked using the messaging service. Railway officials have welcomed the idea on the grounds that it will act as deterrent, besides helping nab culprits.

A senior railway officials said, “For example, a TC may witness a crime but he does not have powers to nab the culprit. He can take snaps and send them to GRP or RPF officials, who can then track the offenders,” said a CR official.

The initiative will deter rooftop travellers and train stuntmen, believe officials.

“We have seen videos of stunts being circulated on several social networking sites. Such videos shed light of the identity of the person and the location where these stunts were performed. Once we start receiving such videos on WhatsApp, our security personnel can keep tabs on offenders,” a CR official said.

“On occasions, CCTV grabs are not clear and can’t help us identify offenders. Since many people use smartphones, the quality of images are good enough to submit in the form of evidence in the court of law.

We hope more people will be encouraged to shoot videos or click pictures when they come across law-breakers,” he added.