Admitting a spurt in crimes again women on suburban trains, the Delhi division of Northern Railway has begun a slew of measures so that women feel safe on local trains.
The railway protection force (RPF), which has 76 women personnel, are escorting all ladies special trains and other suburban trains that have ladies coaches. Five special “Bhairavi” teams have been formed to ensure security and book offenders.
On its suburban network, the Delhi division of Northern Railway runs three ladies special trains from New Delhi to Palwal, Ghaziabad and Panipat. There are 100-odd suburban trains which carry lakhs of passengers every day from Delhi to places such as Ghaziabad, Meerut, Shamli, Panipat, Rohtak, Rewari, Faridabad, Palwal and Mathura.
“We have issued instructions and checks are being carried out to ensure that male passengers don't board ladies special trains or ladies coaches in regular suburban trains,” said a senior Northern Railway official.
From January to November this year, 7,000 people were arrested and prosecuted for unauthorised boarding or crimes against women on trains in the Delhi division. A fine of Rs.20 lakh was realised from the offenders and 130 people are facing trial in court; they can even be jailed.
The railways claimed it has upped security even for long-distance trains. “All important trains have mobile police squads. There are attendants in all AC coaches and ticket conductors as well. They can be spoken to in case any passenger perceives any threat," the official said.