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Victim passengers whose articles were looted, demonstrating at Bhagalpur railway station on the night.

Rail robbery : Top cops underline security lapses


January 11th, 2019

Our Bureau/

Special task force (STF) constituted by Government railway police (GRP) to nab the accused persons involved in the sensational railway robbery on running Bhagalpur bond New Delhi-Bhagalpur weekly Express train at the late evening of January 9, has accelerated investigations and raids. Additional director of GRP, Amit Kumar has been monitoring the operation with a promise for not to spare any culprits involved in the incident.

But interestingly, the incident has exposed the tall claims of GRP especially its mambo-jumbo assurances for arranging safety and security to the passengers on board on the trains. Lack of basic security and also lack of coordination among GRP and district police were some reasons which prompted the criminals to target passengers inside the running train, admitted top cops.

Amir Jawed, superintendent of railway police (SRP), Jamalpur GRP under whose jurisdiction the place of occurrence, ie, Daityabad in between Uren-Dhanuri stations on Kiul-Sahebganj section in eastern railways is falling, earlier on that day conducted a high level security related meeting with his subordinates. The SRP earlier had been alerted by intelligence reports that some possible threats from Pakistani supported extremists groups on railways properties in some places under his jurisdiction. The SRP conducted the meeting for examining full proof security arrangements but ironically in the late evening, such incident was happened there.

The area where the incident happened, had witnessed many such incidents earlier. The place is also noted for Maoists also as they have developed safe corridor from nearby Kajra series of hills with Bhimbandh forest covers. Earlier the area witnessed many Maoists ambush against police also.

On 2016 after kidnapping of a railway employee during Maoists bandh, the than inspector general of police (IG), Bhagalpur range, Sushil Manshing Khopde formulated a strategy to open a police station (PS) on hilltop with all modern facilities. The aim was to counter rising Naxal related activities and also crimes at the areas. He earlier explained : “ We are planning the PS atop the hills  so that police could keep watch both on railway tracks below the foothills and also control the movement of the outlaws from the areas to nearby Bhimbandh forest covers which is also located another side of Kajra series of foothills”.

Khopde had assigned Munger and Lakhisarai SPs to select the place for the proposed PS as Kajra series of hills falling both under the  borders of the two districts. Interestingly, even after passing over two years, nothing had happened; neither the SPs conducted any followup actions nor Khopde had initiated for it, a source pointed out. “ It was decided that the proposed PS would also coordinate with GRP for countering crimes of wheels. The PS would have been solve such problems,” admitted a GRP official.

Lack of adequate man power is another main hurdle for countering criminal activities on rails in Jamalpur GRP’s jurisdiction. GRP sources admitted that majority of trains running from this section without escort either by GRP or by RPF. “We don’t have sufficient manpower and so that we failed to provide escort to all trains here,” a GRP officer on condition of anonymity told.

“The stretch from Kiul to Sultanganj on this section has earned notoriety due to criminal activities. And it has been a long practice, so  why government yet not take the issue seriously? It is the responsibility of the government for deploying forces at such places,” alleged a senior railway official on conditional of anonymity.

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