Railways beefs up security in view of festivals in state

PATNA: Senior railway officials held a meeting at Hajipur on Friday to review security measures in Maoist-hit areas falling under the jurisdiction of the East Central Railway (ECR) ahead of upcoming festivals in the state.

Railway Protection Force (RPF) commissioner-cum-IG Ravindra Verma took stock of security measures with RPF commandants and senior security officials of all five divisions in view of ensuing festivals, such as Dussehra, Diwali and Chhath in state.

According to ECR Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) Rajesh Kumar, the RPF personnel are escorting 125 mail and express trains either originating from or passing through the ECR zone. “The railways has increased the strength of RPF and Railway Protection Special Force in ECR for safeguarding railway property and providing security to passengers on running trains. The Railway Board has sanctioned adequate funds for construction of nine RPF barracks in the state to maintain surveillance in the areas vulnerable to Maoist attacks,” the CPRO added.

He said the RPF personnel rescued 666 minor children from the clutches of human traffickers in the state between January and August this year. “The RPF has also arrested five human traffickers and set up a separate vigilance squad team to keep a tab on the activities of such persons at places like Barauni, Muzaffarpur, Samastipur, Khagaria, Saharsa and Raxaul,” the CPRO said.

The RPF helpline number 182 extended help to at least 614 passengers, who either sought medical assistance or complained against those misbehaving with women passengers on running trains. Altogether 235 people were arrested by RPF for violating railway rules during journey,” Kumar said.

The RPF personnel had recently recovered stolen railway properties worth around Rs 4.34 crore from different places in ECR zone and arrested 46 criminals. The RPF team also handed over lost luggage to 59 passengers in the first eight months of the current year,” he said.

Altogether 43 touts have been arrested by the RPF personnel from different places in connection with selling fake journey tickets to people during the period. The RPF has booked 3,287 people so far this year for illegally stopping trains by pulling alarm chains.

The RPF has also penalised 8,474 people so far this year for travelling illegally in the women bogies and realised a fine of Rs 27 lakh from them. Altogether 3,933 illegal and unlicensed vendors were caught by the RPF men for selling eatables on railway platforms or on running trains illegally,” the CPRO said.