A slew of measures taken by Delhi Metro over the last few years to prevent suicides on its premises seem to have worked, figures released by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) suggest.
According to the data compiled, a total of 53 persons jumped in front of speeding trains and 20 of them died. The others — many of whom sustained critical injuries — were rescued by Delhi Metro operators and other staff deployed at the stations.
“Only about 37% of the people who came in front of speeding trains died, while 63% were saved,” said Anuj Dayal, chief spokesperson, DMRC. While in January only one person committed suicide on a metro track, three committed suicides in March.
According to officials, suicides on metro tracks could be curbed due to the rigorous training provided to the train operators and other staff deployed at metro stations and the improved CCTV network spread across every corner of the platforms.
In a bid to prevent accidents and suicides, the DMRC has also decided to install platform screen doors (PSD) at three inter-change stations — Rajiv Chowk, Central Secretariat and Kashmere Gate.
In 2012-13, of the 23 people who jumped or fell on the tracks, seven were killed. In the last financial year, 30 people attempted suicide and 13 were killed, said DMRC officials.
Some of the survivors, however, had to face cases under section 309 (attempted suicide) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
On July 19, a woman was rescued at the Janakpuri East Metro station with injuries in her legs. A case was registered against her. Similarly, on August 15, a man was rescued at the Tilak Nagar Metro station with minor injuries. The police registered a case against him too.
In a bid to deter people from committing suicide, the police are planning to book anyone who jumps on metro tracks and send them to jail for a year. Attempt to suicide is punishable by one year imprisonment under the Indian Penal Code.
“Most of these can be loosely termed as copycat suicides,” said Dr Samir Parikh, psychiatrist and director, department of mental health and behavioural sciences, Fortis Hospital.
“It acts as trigger in the sense that anyone who wants to commit suicide hears about someone who has done so successfully might want to copy them. They think that if it worked for that person it could work for him or her too,” he added.