RPF involve students in fight against terror in Mumbai

train07Mumbai: After their campaign on the dangers of performing train stunts garnered tremendous response in schools and colleges, the Railway Protection Force now plans to involve students in their fight against terror. Posters displaying suspicious objects or abandoned bags, which need to be brought to the RPF’s notice immediately, will be put up on notice boards of educational institutes. They will also be distributed among students, many of whom travel by trains every day.

“School and college students can be our eyes and ears. We are encouraging students to remain alert on trains, instead of plugging on headphones or chatting on instant messengers,” said a Central Railway official. “They will also create awareness among their families and in the neighborhood.”

The posters will carry photographs of containers or vehicles that can be used to conceal explosives. Helpline numbers of both Central and Western Railway, Government Railway Police and the city police have been printed on them. “As many as 4,000 such posters have already been pasted inside local and outstation trains. After covering schools and colleges, we may approach banks and government organizations for creating awareness,” said Alok Bohra, senior divisional security commissioner, RPF, CR. “Our aim is to ensure that commuters stay alert and the attitude of indifference is wiped out.”

In 2012, the Central Railway RPF had launched a sustained campaign in schools and colleges where officers delivered lectures to students about risks involved in rooftop travel and stunts. The RPF had observed that a majority of offenders caught in these cases were youngsters and reaching out to them was very necessary. Pamphlets carrying graphic images of those who lost their lives due to rooftop travel were distributed in educational institutes. A teenager, who had narrowly missed death and was hospitalized for months after performing stunts, also accompanied RPF officers and interacted with students. The campaign was a hit and RPF plans to extend it to other schools this year.