Prayagraj: Count of police escorts to be hiked in trains during festive season

The North Central Railway (NCR) has decided to increase the vigilance of armed police escort teams on all trains and to increase their numbers as needed. The number of women police officers on trains is also being increased so they can better establish contact with women passengers and extend assistance.
Women passengers giving their journey details to RPF personnel. (File Photo)
Women passengers giving their journey details to RPF personnel. (File Photo)
Updated on Oct 11, 2021 11:52 PM IST
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ByHT Correspondent, Prayagraj

Security onboard running trains has been reviewed and tightened following the recent shocking incident of gang rape of a 20-year-old woman by eight robbers on the Lucknow-Mumbai Pushpak Express train in Maharashtra.

Taking a serious view of the incident and the forthcoming festive season during which rush onboard trains, especially of women, increases significantly, the North Central Railway (NCR) has decided to increase the vigil by armed police escort teams on all trains and also hike their numbers as per need. The counts of women police personnel to maintain on running trains are also being increased so that they can better establish contact with women passengers and extend help for any security-related trouble that they may be experiencing during the journey, informed NCR officials.

NCR has asked all its three divisions including Prayagraj, Agra and Jhansi to ensure heightened vigil on board the trains during the entire festive season, especially of women passengers, said chief public relations officer (CPRO) of NCR Shivam Sharma.

He informed that to improve the security of women passengers on board trains, the Indian Railways has already implemented the “Meri Saheli” initiative which is further being strengthened. This initiative was launched as a pilot project by the railway protection force (RPF) across the South-eastern Railway for the security of women passengers in trains originating in that zone. Considering its success in instilling a sense of security among women passengers, this initiative has been rolled over to all zonal railways across the Indian Railways’ network from October 17, 2020, including NCR.

“Meri Saheli” initiative has been launched to provide safety and security to lady passengers travelling by trains for their entire journey from originating station to terminating station. Dedicated teams of lady RPF personnel have been formed across all zonal railways for its implementation.

Officials said that the deployment of RPF guards including women RPF personnel in ladies’ coaches is decided based on the vulnerability of the trains/sections concerned, timing, location of the area, threat perception of the hinterland, analysis of the past crime of data among others. Therefore, the deployment is dynamic and keeps changing from time to time.

Under the initiative, a team of women officers and staff visit all of the passenger coaches including ladies’ coaches to identify women passengers. Details of their journey like coach number and seat number are noted down by the team, especially if a woman is travelling alone on the train. The passengers are briefed about integrated helpline number 139 and other precautions, for example, not to take food from strangers, buying food from IRCTC authorized stalls only and taking care of luggage.

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Saturday, December 04, 2021