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‘Sabotage’ of Railway Tracks: Indian Railways steps up security at stations

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    ‘Sabotage’ of Railway Tracks: Indian Railways steps up security at stations
    Asks technical staff to enhance patrolling, crack down on unauthorised people in station premises


    By: Express News Service | Mumbai | Published:March 27, 2017 5:49 am

    [​IMG]Between January and the first week of March, at least 18 cases of suspected sabotage have been reported in the railways across the country, including five such incidents in Maharashtra.
    MONTHS AFTER a spate of incidents involving possible sabotage of railway tracks in Maharashtra, the state police headquarters has issued a security advisory asking the Government Railway Police (GRP) to keep a vigil on unauthorised hawkers and others loitering on railway premises.

    The Indian Railways has beefed up security measures and asked its technical staff to inspect and enhance patrolling in railway stations and also to initiate special drives to crack down on unauthorised people inside railway stations and other premises. A three-day drive was launched by the Western Railway (WR) earlier this week and sources say more such drives will be carried out in the coming days.

    Between January and the first week of March, at least 18 cases of suspected sabotage have been reported in the railways across the country, including five such incidents in Maharashtra. Last month, at a meeting attended by police chiefs of all states, Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and Union Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju directed that all incidents of sabotage be actively reported.

    Earlier this month, a high-level meeting chaired by Director General of Police (Maharashtra) Satish Mathur was attended by railway police officers from the neighbouring states, officials of the Railway Protection Force (RPF), Zonal officers of the Railways administration, Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) as well as Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC).

    While the ATS is probing if the incidents were the handiwork of a terrorist outfit, the Railways is probing its own and has started verifying the antecedents of its contractual staff, junior staff and gangmen.

    “A terrorist outfit will aim to carry out an attack which results in casualties, however that has not been the case pertaining to incidents reported in Maharashtra. We suspect it to be an act of mischief and therefore we are probing our junior staff and contractual employees The gangmen and track supervisors posted at night are being interrogated to probe if it is a case of mischief on their part,” said a senior security official from the Indian Railways.

    However, sources added there has been no breakthrough in the probe. “While the ATS is probing if it is an act of terror, we are probing if disgruntled railway employees who are unhappy with the latest revamp in the railways are behind the incidents,” said the source.

    In January, loco pilot Harendra Kumar and assistant Harish Chinchole of 12052 Jan Shatabdi Express noticed something glittering on the tracks between Diva and Mumbra stations. Kumar applied the emergency brakes and brought the train to a grinding halt. The train was running late by 15 minutes with at least 700 passengers on-board.

    In February, the motorman of the Pune-Santragachi Express, which was coming from Pune, did not notice the metal bar in the dark, and the locomotive hit it. Subsequently, a 1.5 metre piece of rail was found on the track in the Navi Mumbai node Monday night.

    In the same month, an iron rod ripped off from one of the railway’s electrical equipment was found partly lying on the tracks near Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) Wednesday. In another incident, a trackman reported that four discarded gelatin sticks were found between the rail tracks on Diva-Panvel track of Konkan railway last month.


    http://indianexpress.com/article/in...ndian-railways-steps-up-security-at-stations/

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