Admitting to the rise in crimes against women commuters and cases of thefts, the Maharashtra government assured the assembly that it will beef up security on Mumbai’s local trains.
Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said by ensuring better coordination between the Railway Police Force (RPF) and Government Railway Police (GRP), his government was committed to reducing the crime rate on the locals.
Congress MLAs Amit Deshmukh and Varsha Gaikwad had raised the issue during the question hour. The MLAs alleged that the lack of coordination between the two railway police forces and staff crunch have led to an increase in criminal activities on trains.
BJP MLA Sanjay Kelkar said trafficking of children from trains was another major menace.
Minister of state for home, Ranjit Patil, admitted to the rise in cases, but he denied that commute was unsafe for women.
“It is true that 354 cases of rape, theft and molestation were registered in 2014 against 332 in the previous year, but the rise in the cases is owing to the modified approach of the police. After the changes in the laws after the December 16 gang-rape case, more people are coming forward to register cases,” he said.
“We have launched measures to combat the rising number of cases. Besides dedicated helplines for women and children, we have constituted committees of police officers, social activists to brainstorm on the measures to keep criminal activities under control,” Patil added.
The minister said the post of about 15% officers and 5% constables are vacant.
He said the government has put in all the efforts to ensure better coordination between RPF and GRP.