Spurt in loot and drugging crimes since 2009
Accidents and sabotage are not the only problem plaguing Indian Railways; crimes against passengers have also increased.delhi Updated: Aug 08, 2010 00:06 IST
Accidents and sabotage are not the only problem plaguing Indian Railways; crimes against passengers have also increased.
Compared to 148 cases of loot — dacoity and robbery — in trains in 2007, there were 183 cases in 2009 and 102 in the first six months of 2010.
The number of drugging cases rose from 573 and 467 in 2001 and 2008 to 619 in 2009 and 247 till June 2010.
Crimes such as chain snatching also shot up from 4,379 in 2007 to 5,156 in 2009. Till June 2010, 3,032 cases were reported, ministry of railways said.
The spurt in loot has been particularly sharp in Central, East Central (Bihar) and North East Frontier Railways.
“We do not have enough men to guard trains. The number of trains is also increasing,” a police officer said a day after the Kolkata–Delhi Lal Quila express was looted 150 km from Patna.
Although crime figures are going up, action against criminals is on the decline. The number of arrests for offence on trains in 2007 was 2,487, but in 2009, which saw a spurt in crime, it was only 2,200.
The rise coincides with the ministership of Mamata Banerjee.
Mamata said in response to a question in the Lok Sabha, “Prevention of crime, registration of cases, their investigation and maintenance of law and order in railway premises as well as on running trains are the statutory responsibility of the state police, discharged through Government Railway Police of state concerned. As such, cases are reported to, registered and investigated by the GRP.”
The ministry is considering an amendment to the Railway Protection Force Act to enable the force to deal with such offences effectively.