“A boy cut my bag open and stole my cellphone. When I went to the railway police, mocking me, the first thing they asked was, why did the boy take only my phone, and that I hadn’t been careful enough to watch over my bag, that it was my fault that I was robbed.”
This is an account of 24-year-old Vasai resident Seema Rawal, who works at an insurance company in Churchgate. “The officer rudely asked me to file a complaint at the station where the incident happened, grumbling that I’d wasted his time.”
Have you ever approached the railway police after your cellphone or wallet was stolen and found the policemen on duty chatting while you waited for hours, or were told the officer was resting and would attend to you later?
This behaviour could change. Next time you go to a railway police station with a grievance, you might just be welcomed with a glass of water and a warm smile.
Alarmed at the rising number of commuter complaints against government railway police officers, Additional DG (Railways) Raj Khilnani is telling his officers to be nice to people. “A policeman has to deal with two kinds of people – the accused and the complainant – and sometimes he forgets the difference between them,” he said.
Khilnani has sent out a notification to all police stations on how to deal with a complainant. He said there will be surprise checks police stations to monitor implementation of this programme: “People can give feedback on our helpline. The police station’s assessment will depend on this feedback.”