In an effort to curb crimes against women, the Indian Railways has issued fresh guidelines asking officials of the Railway Protection Force (RPF) to acquire details of various incidents of crime against women, including rape, over the last five years, and to create a database of criminals operating on railways’ premises. Apart from this, officials have been directed to provide free WiFi at stations, and to ensure it is not used to download pornographic content.
Director General of the Railway Protection Force (DG RPF), Arun Kumar, who issued the order, has asked for all abandoned structures in platforms and yards, and quarters in isolated areas to be demolished. According to reports by PTI, the guidelines issued also state that these areas should be regularly checked, especially during night time or period when the presence of people is minimal. This will be a part of the job profile of all on-duty staff till the time they are demolished.
Here’s the details of the guidelines broken down for ease:
1. Reports of crimes against women over the last five years should be thoroughly analysed and shared with all post commanders (PC). This includes the reasons for such offences, gaps in security measures, failures of security apparatus, modus operandi of the criminals involved, vulnerable sections of women, places, time of day, month and year, status of investigation/prosecution of past cases, arrests made, whereabouts of criminals and their associates. These details need to be carefully examined in coordination with various counterparts of Government Railway Police/Local Police, Station staff, and NGOs.2. Personnel will receive get photographs of criminals involved in such crimes, and will require to create a database, which may be accessed through CCTNS/ICJS and state police digital databases.3. It is mandated that porn sites are restricted on the free WiFi services provided by the railways, in collaboration with internet service providers.4. Based on the analysed data, an actionable plan needs to be charted for further steps. This should be divided into a short term and long term plan.5. The short term plan to be implemented on priority with the help of existing resources, without any delay. This includes keeping a watch on suspects, regular visits to vulnerable spots by duty officers and staff during their rounds.6. The long term plan will include improvement of basic infrastructure, CCTV and other security aspects. While this may take a reasonable time, concerned authorities should be contacted “on regular basis and till such time it is completed, focus should be kept on temporary minor works that can be effective in improving the situation, which may be worked out and got implemented with bare minimum expenditure or with available resources”.7. Officials have also been asked to keep a close watch on the ‘ladies’ coaches.8. There are to be escorts stationed at platforms when train is arriving or departing.9. Both staff and passengers to be sensitised on safety protocols.
*Image vis Shutterstock, for representational purposes only.