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Railways plan community policing

Anil Radhakrishnan
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Enthused by the response to the Kerala Police’s Janamaithri Suraksha project and the Railway Protection Force’s ‘Mitra Yojna,’ the railway police are planning to launch a community policing initiative to enhance passenger safety.

Modelled on the lines of the Janamaithri project started in 2008 with the active participation of local residents, the Janayathra Suraksha programme of the Kerala Railway Police will be formally launched in November.

With the rail network and the commuters becoming soft targets of divisive forces and criminals, the aim is to enhance safety of the commuters, railway premises and bring down the crime rate.

“It has been found that police-community cooperation as envisaged in the Janamaithri project can reduce the crime rate. We are replicating it in 13 railway police stations from Parassala to Kasaragod,” Superintendent of Railway Police Ch Nagaraju told The Hindu on Monday.

Steps were on to form Janayathra Suraksha committees at the railway police stations at Parassala, Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Punalur, Alappuzha, Kottayam, Ernakuam South, Thrissur, Palakkad, Kozhikode, Kannur, and Kasaragod.

All stakeholders from regular commuters, passenger associations, railway officials, and porters to vendors would be provided representation on the committee that would look into commuters’ issues.

Beat officers

Beat officers, who will be assigned a stretch in their jurisdiction, would be in touch with the commuters to get details of minor and major incidents on the rail network.

Mr. Nagaraju said the initiative would be carried out with the existing staff strength of 600 although the force would be happy if more personnel were deputed to take care of the trains and rail network.

He said the force would be able to effectively tackle the threat posed by extremist elements through the enhanced information network and improvement in its functioning.

The Superintendent said the antecedents of those being deputed to the railway police were being verified to prevent those facing criminal cases and corruption charges from entering the force.  

He said incidents of misbehaviour towards women on trains were on the wane, which he attributed to better awareness among the commuters and the crackdown on consumption of liquor on the rail network. He said the rise in thefts of laptops and mobiles was a major concern.

Joint combing operations with the railway police in Tamil Nadu and the RPF were also undertaken to curb thefts on the trains, he added.

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