Over 300 persons were “run over” by trains in the last 10 months in various railway sections falling under the limits of the Government Railway Police (GRP), Tiruchi district.

Investigations by the GRP established that it was “accidental deaths” in the case of over 250 victims and 74 were “suicide” cases. Male accounted for majority in “accidental death” and “suicide” cases with the figures being 221 and 61 respectively. About 80 cases were in the “under Investigation” stage.

In October, 46 “run-over” cases were reported in GRP, Tiruchi district limits of which “accidental deaths” accounted for 30 with the rest being “suicide” cases. On an average, 30 to 40 run-over cases are reported in GRP Tiruchi District limits every month, say railway police authorities adding that the incidents were reported more in rural areas.

In a bid to prevent these incidents, the GRP in coordination with railway authorities has planned to carry out campaigns in Tiruchi and Madurai shortly to create awareness among people regarding the hazards of trespassing on tracks and walking along the track besides the precautionary measures to be taken before crossing the railway line, a senior railway police officer here said.

If the large number of run-over cases is a cause for worry for the GRP on the one hand, establishing the identity of unidentified victims poses another challenge to the investigators. The identity of 136 dead persons is yet to be established, says a railway police officer here.

In addition to circulating the photographs to the media, local police stations and the State Crime Records Bureau in a bid to establish the identity of such unknown run-over victims, authorities say the GRP has been uploading in its website www.grptamilnadu.org.in with complete details of unidentified victims.

The website has a dedicated ‘search’ box which if clicked provides details of “accidental” cases including the accident spot, complexion of the victim, dress wore by the victims, railway police station limit, crime number along with their photograph. Details of such unknown victims from January 2008 to September 2009 have been uploaded in the website till now, say the authorities.

Inaugurated in February 2009, the website also provides the Railway Police Helpline number- 9962500500 - to help travellers needing assistance. The website states that the Helpline has enabled the GRP in rescuing women and children besides rendering medical assistance and in recovering missing property.

Besides highlighting the precautionary measures to be taken by rail travellers to prevent thefts such as chain snatching and baggage lifting, the website also contains photographs of some persons allegedly involved in baggage lifting and doping offences.