Nellore: For the first time, the Government Railway Police (GRP) has deployed police pickets at level crossing gates, signal points and outer signals at stations in sensitive areas to prevent theft in the trains during the summer.
It has become a practice for thieves to stop the train at signal points and railway gates and escape after robbing the passengers at night.
GRP officials said they had also revamped security arrangements on the trains by posting armed police apart from regular police, though the force is short of staff by 60 per cent.
Those with weapons have standing orders to shoot the offenders if the situation warrants. The posting of security personnel in trains is being monitored hourly by a DSP-level officer at the Joint Control Rooms run by the GRP and Railway Protection Force.
The two agencies are also carrying out joint patrol in stations as well as trains, especially at night.
Speaking to this newspaper, Nellore division GRP inspector Dasaradha Ramarao appealed to the travelling public, especially women, to avoid display of gold ornaments.
He said passengers must refuse eatables and soft drinks offered by co-travellers. He said this in the backdrop of instances where passengers given eatables laced with sedatives and their valuables stolen.
“The public continues to ignore minimum precautions despite the campaign at railway stations,” Mr Dasarath said.
He said measures being initiated by senior authorities at the Guntakal railway district had helped bring down the crime rate during last three months.
The property loss was `85 lakh from January to March this year down from `3 crore during the same period last year, because of continuous efforts to contain the crime rate in trains and railway stations, the inspector claimed....