Rlys' Mahila Vahini to protect women

The Railway Ministry will soon come out with a Mahila Vahini (women squad) to provide security to women rail travellers and has already sent a proposal to the Finance Ministry.

The ministry has also sought to legally empower the Railway Protection Force (RPF) with the authority of registering FIR for crimes at stations and on trains.

This was disclosed by Rail Minister Suresh Prabhu on Thursday while addressing a conference of state police chiefs and senior RPF officers on railway security.

“There are several instances of attacks on the modesty of women during travel and it needs special attention of all the agencies concerned,” said Prabhu.

In the conference, addressed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Minister of State for Home Affairs Haribhai Parthibhai Chaudhary and State Minister for Railways Manoj Sinha, the railways argued for a mechanism of coordinated effort by Government Railway Police (GRP), RPF and district police.

The ministry also stressed the need for an effective intelligence network which could share necessary information to prevent crimes.

The ministry apprised state police chiefs about the initiative taken to improve the security environment at stations and on trains. The minister informed them about the decision to install CCTVs in passenger coaches after addressing passengers’ privacy.

Prabhu also informed the conference that railways would use ex-Army personnel in providing security to passengers on trains and reserve four berths—two each at entry points of coaches—for ex-Army personnel.

The Home Ministry, however, was guarded on the railways’ demand of power to register FIR to the RPF.

The home minister echoed objections of states on the issue and said, “the security in the running trains is a complex subject and we have to find a solution within our federal structure.

We need to explore the system of online FIR which will expedite investigation and help in controlling crimes.” 

 Singh, instead, suggested a “National Transport Security Strategy” for security in all types of transport including railways.
DH News Service

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