Pune: Government Railway Police (GRP) are back to their ways of extorting and looting passengers, allege commuters and activists. There have been several incidents where passengers have been harassed, beaten up and looted in the past few weeks.
Many such incidents took place in the recent past and was reported in RailNews. Yet, one such incident again took place on August 16 at the Pune station when a passenger who was to board Coimbatore Express at 1.30 am, was beaten up by a GRP personnel and robbed of Rs.2000. When the victim approached the station authorities next morning, the policeman promptly returned the money.
Satyanarayan Gupta, 30, who works as a daily wage worker in the city, told RailNews, “I was waiting at the Pune station when I was approached by the policeman who said he wanted to check my bag. After checking my bag, he also scanned my mobile phone and checked my I-card. Though I produced all my documents, he beat me up and demanded that I should hand over all the money I had. After he threatened me to lock me up in the prison, I gave him Rs.2000,” he said.
Gupta said he cancelled the plan to board the train and stayed back at the station till morning. “In the morning, I registered a complaint with a station official. Following the complaint, I was approached by the policeman who extorted money from me. He apologised and requested me to take back my complaint. I did not want any trouble, so I took back my complaint,” he said.
Abhay Parmar, Inspector, GRP, Pune, confirmed about the compaint and informed that the policeman was attached to Miraj station. He said a report about the incident was sent t the official concerned at Miraj for further action.
According to passengers, such incidences are common and usually go unreported.
In another incident that took place a few days back, passengers caught hold of a policeman who was pretending to be a ticket checker. He was illegally fining people without authorised journey ticket. Though he was produced before the station manager, he was not penalised by railway authorities, complained passengers.
Harsha Shah of Railway Pravasi Group said instead of maintaining law and order, the policemen were proving to be a big nuisance at the railway station.
“In their bid to extort money, the GRP and RPF policeman check cellphones of passengers without having any authority to do so. If policemen find any adult video or image in their cellphones, they extort money from them by threatening to book them under Obscenity Act. They also take money from unauthorised vendors at the station in return to allow them to do their business there. They deliberately victimise poor and visibly uneducated people so that they don’t pursue the matter with higher authorities” said Shah.