To stop them from performing stunts, RPF officers garland offenders
After receiving dozens of complaints about youths performing dangerous stunts on trains, the RPF decided to start a unique campaign in a bid to stop them from risking their and other commuters’ life.
The RPF initially made a list of those stations that receive maximum number of complaints and then started a campaign on July 1. As a part of this campaign, whenever a RPF personnel who is patrolling the station comes across an offender, he is taken to the center of the platform. The officers then gather around to click pictures with the offenders and garland them.
Later, offenders are asked to give assurances that they won’t indulge in performing such stunts again. They are even asked to warn their friends and acquaintances. Despite the warning, if they are caught performing stunts again, they get prosecuted.
While speaking to media, senior divisional security commissioner of RPF, Sachin Bhalode, said “Govandi, Mankhurd, Tilak Nagar, Kurla, Chembur and Reay Road are problem areas. As part of our campaign, inspectors use megaphones to make announcements at railway stations, appealing to commuters to not travel dangerously. Banners are also put up.”
Since habitual offenders are aware of the presence of RPF officers, they get down from the roof just before it halts at a station.
While speaking about different ways of nabbing the culprits, Bhalode said, “We instructed our staff to click pictures of rooftop travelers. The pictures were shared on an internal WhatsApp group which connects RPF personnel across various outposts. The offender is identified on the basis of his picture on WhatsApp and is arrested.”
These stunts prove fatal for thousands of commuters traveling via trains everyday and often result in delaying services. In the most recent case, on Friday, a person travelling atop a train’s roof suffered from 60 to 70 percent burns. The accident caused a delay of over 15 minutes on the Harbour line.
As of July 9, a total of 126 men have been prosecuted by RPF officers.