Security has been stepped up at major railway stations, including Chennai Central, Chennai Egmore and Madurai, following an alert, and passengers have been warned not to transport firecrackers, Inspector General of Police (Railways) K.C. Mahali has said.
Pointing out that transporting firecrackers in trains is a punishable offence under the provisions of Explosives Act, 1884, and Railway Act, 1989, he recalled how one person died and many others were injured in a firecracker blast at Sholavandan railway station (Madurai Division) in October last year.
Mr. Mahali said the baggage of passengers was being scanned at Chennai Central and Chennai Egmore, while it was physically checked at other stations.
“Empty rakes of trains are being screened before being brought to the platform. Unnecessary entry/exit routes have been sealed. Besides monitoring the movement of people, we have also formed special teams to mingle with the crowd and keep a vigil on the activities of mischief-makers.”
Railway Police and Railway Protection Force (RPF) personnel are keeping a close watch on vital establishments.
Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS) teams are stationed at vantage points.
“Our appeal to passengers is that they should inform the police regarding any unclaimed baggage or article. They must not take food or any drink from unknown persons.”
Mr. Mahali said the police would conduct surprise checks on trains and take action against any passenger found transporting firecrackers.