Legal reality check for GRP – Police stations to crack crimes on tracks outside signal posts

The trail of crimes discovered in and around Tatanagar tracks runs cold as government railway police (GRP) is grossly understaffed.

To combat this, Tatanagar and Kharagpur railway police officers met on April 12 at the latter venue to remind themselves of a basic norm, superintendent of railway police (Tatanagar) Mrityunjay Kishore told on Sunday. According to the forgotten law, the onus of probing accidents, suicides, murders and the like occurring only between two outer signal posts — a distance of 500m — lies with the GRP.

Translated into action, this means that the local police should probe other crimes in or near Tatanagar outside this limited area.

GRP officers will follow this forgotten directive in letter and spirit to aid proper probe of crimes on tracks.

All accidents, suicides, murders and any other forms of crime that take place on railway tracks beyond the limited range of 500m will be registered and investigated by local police stations concerned.

“Now, the railway police will register and investigate incidents those take place only within the two outer signals of a station. All mishaps and crimes that take place beyond will be probed by local thanas,” Kishore told.

Every month, over a dozen cases of suicides as well as accidents confirmed and unconfirmed take place on the 70-km stretch between Ghatshila and Gamharia, according to GRP reports.

There are more reasons why criminals rejoice over the GRP manpower crunch.

Often, murders are dressed up as suicides as bodies fester on tracks for days before being sent for autopsies.

Files of many such cases are closed without proper probe.“Once the GRP does its own tasks and the local police stations theirs, crime rates will reduce as cases will be handled more effectively. The GRP will also be more effective about discharging its responsibilities,” he said. The railway police will issue a notice to this effect, he added.

Important stations including Ranchi, Muri, Chakradharpur, Bandamunda, Chaibasa, Bokaro, Ghatshila and Tatanagar fall under the jurisdiction of the Tatanagar railway superintendent of police.

Why was this basic rule forgotten by the GRP?