For some cheap thrills

Risk factor

For some cheap thrills

Railway Protection Force has set up a team, exclusively to monitor the cases of stone pelting at moving trains in some areas in the City.

An awareness campaign addressing the issue has been flagged off but the main thing, the authorities say, is instilling a sense of fear in those who dare to indulge in such acts. So far, their warnings haven’t been harsh enough to dissuade people, especially children, from stone throwing.

Now, the authorities hope that repeated campaigns will make people more aware of the dangers involved in stone pelting.

Metrolife speaks to the railway authorities and people who live in these trouble-prone areas to understand why this problem continues despite so many complaints.

The railway authorities seem to have taken serious note of stone throwing and confirm that the number of cases has almost doubled in areas like Hebbal, Banaswadi, Nayandahalli, behind Mantri Mall, Kanakanagar and Agrahara. According to the statistics available with the Railway Protection Force, there were 25 cases of stone pelting in 2011. The numbers dropped to 11 in 2012 and the cases reported in 2013, till date are four. 

Talking about the various initiatives, S Louis Amuthan, senior divisional security commissioner, Railway Protection Force (Bangalore), informs, “Two of our loco pilots were injured because of stone pelting. We will soon start patrolling in a tower car, a one-coach train, between 6 pm and 7.30 pm.

We shall ply around sensitive areas watching out for people, especially drunkards, who indulge in such acts.” Louis further states, “In addition to the many campaigns we have started in certain areas, we will arrest all those who are caught throwing stones.”
People who live in and around Banaswadi, K R Puram and Lingarajpuram say that they often spot kids, who pick up small stones near the railway track and fling them at moving trains.

Arvind Ravi feels there isn’t enough security at railway stations and railway crossings in the City.

“People can walk into a railway station and it is risky for those travelling alone as well as with their families. This stone throwing has only added to the insecurity of travelling by train,” explains Arvind.

Hemanth Gowda, who lives in K R Puram, feels it is unsafe around his residential locality and Banaswadi, which have a lot of slum dwellings around them.
“Looks like the people living around these stations get some cheap thrills by pelting stones at moving trains. The impact is huge and people mustn’t resort to damaging public property to vent their anger. I feel this is an immature way of trying to get themselves noticed or even heard,” explains Hemanth.  

Imran Hussain, a resident of Lingarajpuram, feels that the railway police can’t do much as they can’t anticipate when people will indulge in stone pelting. However, he thinks that they must step up their campaigns and make the punishments more strict. “People who are caught in the act must be severely punished. I think throwing stones at a moving train is the crudest way of hurting someone,” he says.

Sheelu Prasad, a housewife and a resident of Benson Town, near Cantonment
Railway Station, concludes, “Children from the neighbouring slums and settlements must be counselled and told about the repercussions of such stone
throwing. Education is the way forward.”

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