Sunday, January 4, 2015

Railways devise strategy to check stone-hurling

S. Anil Radhakrishnan

Patrolling stepped up in vulnerable areas

: The Railways will adopt a three-pronged strategy to prevent miscreants from hurling stones at trains.
Several incidents have been reported across the State in which commuters, loco pilots, and other crew of the train have been injured. Train schedules have been upset and the Railways have suffered loss of several crores of rupees.
The injuries suffered by assistant loco pilot C.P. Vijayakrishnan in his right eye when miscreants hurled stones at the Nagercoil-Kottayam passenger near Karunagapally on Thursday have made the Railways intensify patrolling, undertake joint patrolling with engineering departments, and create awareness.
RPF plainclothesmen
Even as a probe is on to nab the person who hurled the stone, the Railway Protection Force (RPF) has deployed plainclothesmen in seven vulnerable areas from where stone-pelting incidents have been reported and stepped up patrolling.
“Trains, commuters and loco pilots being targeted are turning to be a very serious menace for the Railways. The Railways need the help of all concerned to check such incidents,” Divisional Railway Manager Sunil Bajpai told The Hindu .
Only one of the accused in the 23 incidents reported in 2014 has been arrested so far. Many commuters are not reporting the incidents to avoid investigation.
“The motive is yet to be ascertained. The other puzzling issue is that it is not confined to just one area,” Mr. Bajpai said.
As many as 15 passengers, including eight women, have been injured in stone-pelting while travelling on trains. Eight cases were registered last year.
Vulnerable stretches
The vulnerable stretches are Ernakulam-Angamaly, Thiruvananthapuram-Kollam, Alappuzha-Cherthala, Kayamkulam-Ambalappuzha, Kollam-Kayamkulam, Changanassery-Kottayam and Nanganeri-Melapalayam.
Divisional Security Commissioner, RPF, Rajnish Kumar Tripathi said places of worship, educational institutions, and voluntary organisations should take the initiative to educate the people and to check any incident of stone-pelting in their locality.
Mr. Tripathi has asked the public to pass on any information about miscreants to the helpline1322 or the RPF helpline 9995040000.
“They will be sternly dealt with by booking them under the RA and IPC and there will be no leniency,” he added.


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