The 27-month-old ‘Shakti’ teams of Railway Protection Force (RPF) in the Mumbai division of Central Railway have played a key role in checking crime by detecting over 47,000 criminal cases.
Since its inception in September 2013 till November this year, a total 22 ‘Shakti’ teams detected 47,451 cases of crime on trains and railway premises in the Mumbai division of Central Railway, as per the figures compiled by CR’s Mumbai Division of RPF.
Out of these, 3,786 cases were pertaining to non-bonafide traveling, creating nuisance in trains, defacing the rail premises etc, while 43,665 cases were referred to ticket-checking commercial staff of the railway.
Apart from cracking down on errant commuters, the teams also helped the CR’s commercial staff to realise a fine of Rs 1.26 crore, in addition to removing 43,259 beggars and children from ladies coach, the figures revealed.
Each Shakti squad comprises of at least four constables with equal number of male and female staff, and headed by a female sub-inspector. These teams make rounds of ladies coaches and platforms at sensitive locations round-the-clock.
The squads have been tasked to weed out criminal elements, beggars and urchins from ladies coaches. They also assist teams of ticket-checking staff to penalise ticket less travelers.
RPF’s Shakti squad head in Mumbai division of CR, Debashmita Chattopadhyay said, “Deployment of these teams, which keep changing its positions according to the inputs received, has worked as a big deterrent to crime.
“As the teams have proved to be successful in detecting and preventing crimes, I have requested my division to sanction more female staff, so that I can strengthen the squad,” she said.
The RPF always briefs and alerts these teams about the crime patterns and how to co-ordinate with the Government Railway Police (GRP) and commercial, vigilance and operating wings of Railways, she said.
Though these teams are mainly visible at sensitive stations like Byculla, CST, Kurla, Thane, Kalyan and trans-harbour sections, their deployment and positioning keep changing as per the complaints or inputs received by the division.