The railways have stepped up security for passengers, especially women, after an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer was arrested for allegedly misbehaving with a woman—an employee of an MNC in Noida —on board an AC coach of a Delhi-Lucknow train on Monday.
"All important trains have mobile squads of either our Railway Protection Force (RPF) or the states' Government Railway Police (GRP). Instructions have been issued to maintain extra vigilance and check such cases in future," said a senior northern railway official.
"We're making passengers aware that there are attendants in all AC coaches. They can be spoken to in case any passenger perceives any threat or feels insecure," he said.
"Any complaints of crime can be lodged at the next major station. We have displayed helpline numbers of the railways as well as the GRP in trains and at stations," the official added.
Citing lack of adequate manpower as a major problem, another railway ministry official said, "Our priority is railway board's trains such as Rajdhani and Shatabdi, followed by express and mail trains run by various zonal railways. Because of staff shortage, small-distance and daytime trains often suffer."
"Also, there is no adequate coordination between RPF and GRP. Efforts are on to introduce a bill in Parliament to transfer handling of all heinous crime cases to RPF," the official said.
RPF is responsible for the detection of crime and protection of passengers but unlike GRP, it does not have the powers to lodge FIRs, investigate, and arrest offenders. RPF has for long been ruing the fact that the GRP —even after detection of crime—does not lodge cases citing jurisdiction issues.