Starting April, the railways will keep an eye on the snacks offered to you by co-passengers on board long-distance trains.
The onset of vacation season and the increase in the number of incidents of drugging and thefts has made the Railway Protection Force (RPF) of the Central Railway plan a drive to check such incidents.
The RPF will begin the drive from April 1.
The criminals befriend the passengers and offer them sedative-laced food and drinks like biscuits, juices, fruits, tea or coffee. Once the passengers became unconscious, the thieves flee away with their valuables and cash. Such cases are reported mostly in north India-bound trains that originate on Central Railway (CR).
While 34 such incidents were reported in 2008 in CR trains, the figure rose to 50 in 2009.
CR officials said incidents of drugging and thefts are most common during the vacation period when migrants, especially from north India, visit their hometowns.
“The passengers generally carry cash and valuables with them while returning to their native place and criminals make the best of this opportunity,” said B.S. Sidhu, chief security commissioner, CR.
Most of these cases are reported in trains originating from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, Lokmanya Tilak Terminus and Dadar, added Sidhu.
“There will be video recording of the passengers boarding the trains. Plain clothes RPF personnel will also be sitting inside the compartments.”
Sidhu said the camera recordings would serve as a deterrent for the railway staff who take bribes from passengers to confirm seats.
“Once we have the footage, we can use it later to show it to the victims to help identify the accused.”
The CR will also make announcements to warn passengers about criminals who drug passengers.