According to statistics from the Mumbai Railway Police Commissionerate, the number of cases of administering stupefying drugs (ASD) to commuters with intent to commit an offence has seen an increase as compared to last year. While 16 such cases were registered last year, 31 were recorded in 2011.
However, the detection rate of such crimes has increased substantially, the police said. “While only 3 of the 16 cases registered were detected last year, we have detected 13 from the 31 cases recorded in 2011. So the detection rate has gone up by 23 per cent due to modern equipment and technology,” said G S Bhandare, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Central Railway.
The railway police said that such crimes occur when commuters unwittingly trust their co-passengers, thereby leading to drugging, thefts, and sometimes, even grievous crimes.
“Such instances usually occur during long-distance travels when people interact with strangers, become friendly, and without suspecting anything, accept the food products they offer. These products are often drugged by criminals who intend to rob the innocent commuters,” said Bhandare.
The railway police said that they have undertaken several measures to create more awareness among passengers against such criminal activities.
“Since such incidents usually occur in waiting rooms at railway stations and in train compartments, we have put up posters in these places to warn commuters. Recurrent announcements at railway stations are also in place. We are working out ways of increasing awareness among passengers so that such crimes do not occur as often as they do,” said Bhandare.
Bhandare said commuters should be more vigilant while dealing with strangers. “We are taking several measures like CCTV camera installations, sniffer dogs, increased patrolling, among others to make the commute safer for people. But, where such crimes are concerned, people have to take the initiative themselves and commit to their own safety,” said Bhandare.