New Delhi: Over 1.71 lakh cases of theft have been reported by passengers in trains in the last 10 years, the Railway Ministry has said, a data that may suggest certain lacunae in ensuring fool-proof security of travellers and their belongings by the national transporter.
The cases of theft have reached a highest mark of 36,584 in 2018 in the past one decade. Giving the break up, the ministry said a total of 33,044 such cases were registered in 2017 as against 22,106 in 2016 and 19,215 in 2015. As many as 14,301 cases were registered in 2014, 12,261 in 2013, 9,292 in 2012, 9,653 in 2011, 7,549 in 2010 and 7,010 in 2009.
From 2009 to 2018, the cases of thefts have seen a five-fold increase, according to the data which was made public in response to an RTI query filed by a journalist of this agency. Altogether, a total of 1,71,015 cases of thefts were registered between 2009 and 2018.
“Policing on railways being a state subject, prevention of crime, registration of cases, their investigation and maintenance of law and order in railway premises as well as on running trains is the statutory responsibility of the state governments, which they discharge through the Government Railway Police (GRP),” the report said.
The data assumes significance as some of the railway passengers have been frequently airing their safety-related concerns while travelling on social media and other means.
“On a daily average basis about 2,500 mail/express trains are being escorted by Railway Protection Force/Railway Protection Special Force and about 2,200 trains by Government Railway Police staff,” the Railway Ministry said.
The Indian Railways is the second largest railway system in the world that runs over 19,000 trains daily serving at least 13 million (1.3 crore) passengers every day, officials said.
Asserting that jurisdiction issues, at times, causes harassment to people, Home Minister Rajnath Singh had in January had asked the Railway Ministry to start a facility by which passengers can file FIRs online. He had then also asked the RPF personnel to be sensitive and friendly with the people.
“It is expected from all police personnel. Be it central or state police force, all police personnel should have friendly behaviour with common people. We have been telling it to them,” the Home Minister had said at the All India Conference on Railway Security here.
Replying to anther query, the Railway Ministry has said a 73,837 have been arrested for extorting money from the passengers in the past four years. Of these, a total of 13,546 were arrested in 2015, 19,800 in 2016, 18,526 in 2017 and 20,566 in 2018, the report stated.