Railway Union demands CCTVs at level crossings; says staff in remote areas fear attacks

Railway staff in the field and at remote places are in constant fear of criminal attacks on them by miscreants, a railway workers union has said. In lieu of the recent incident wherein, the hands of a gateman were chopped off, the Delhi division may now install CCTV cameras at manned level crossings

NEW DELHI: Railway staff in the field and at remote places are in constant fear of criminal attacks on them by miscreants, a railway workers union has said, demanding CCTV cameras at level crossing gates, days after a gateman was attacked at one such gate in north Delhi.

Last Monday, three men on a bike severed the hands of a gateman after he refused to open a level crossing gate in north Delhi’s Narela area because a train was approaching, railway officials had said.

The National Federation of Indian Railwaymen (NFIR) have written to Chairman Railway Board, Ashwani Lohani, alleging that no adequate action has been taken by the concerned law and order authorities to deter the miscreants.

The letter dated September 19 stated two recent incidents. One being that of gateman Kundan Pathak whose hands were severed in the attack in north Delhi’s Narela area and later reattached and another attack on a TTE of South Central Railway (Secunderabad Division) by a group of people who allegedly routinely threaten staff and travel without tickets.

The plan to install CCTV cameras at manned level crossings was reportedly suggested almost six months ago in a zonal railways meeting with the Railway Board to provide security to the gatemen, who are usually alone at odd hours in isolated areas.

“The railway staff who performs duties in the field and at remote places are developing constant fear of criminal attacks on them by the miscreants.

“In order to maintain the morale of staff it would be necessary to urge upon the concerned high level authorities who are accountable for maintaining law and order situation to take effective measures. So far as level crossing gates are concerned, provision of CCTV cameras may be considered seriously to facilitate detecting the culprits for further action,” the letter stated.

Source said the plan to install CCTV cameras at manned level crossings was suggested almost six months ago after a meeting of zonal railways with the Railway Board as a measure to provide security to the gatemen who are usually alone at odd hours at isolated areas.

Railways has more than 19,000 manned level crossings across its network. As a pilot project, CCTV cameras were installed at 11 manned gates at the South Central Railway zone.

However, despite recommendations, the plan to expand it to all manned crossings never materialised, the source said.

Delhi Division to install CCTV Cameras at all Railway Stations

In the wake of the horrific recent incident in which a hand of a gateman were hacked by three motorcycle-borne assailants, Indian Railways is mulling to install CCTV cameras at all its manned level crossings. The episode took place near Delhi-Haryana border when the victim refused to open the Railway crossing gate.

According to reports, 28-year-old Kundan Pathak of Bishanpur in Bihar’s Banka district was manning gate number 19 between Narela and Rathdhana on Monday when three armed men reached the place and pressurised him to open the level crossing gate. When he did not, they assaulted him. The gateman underwent a four-hour surgery at a hospital in Rohini where his limb was reattached.

The plan to install CCTV cameras at manned level crossings was reportedly suggested almost six months ago in a zonal railways meeting with the Railway Board to provide security to the gatemen, who are usually alone at odd hours in isolated areas.

Notably, CCTV cameras were installed at 11 manned gates at the South Central Railway zone as a pilot project.

However, despite recommendations, the plan to expand it to all manned crossings never materialised, reported PTI quoting source.

Railways has more than 19,000 manned level crossings across its network.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) took suo motu cognisance of media reports, and issued notices to the Railways and the Haryana government seeking a detailed report of the incident within four weeks.

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