Saturday, August 7, 2010

Train robbery- A routine affair in Bihar

The train robbery is not new in Bihar. It takes place there on a routine basis and mostly go unreported. The Ministry of Railways and Bihar Government are well aware of it. In the given situation, the safety of rail passengers is a great cause of concern. To give safety to the rail passengers is the primary responsibility of Railway Ministry. But at the same time, the state through which the train passes and if the robbery takes place within the periphery of that state, the government in place there can also not escape the responsibility of protecting the passengers. Train dacoity is a matter of law and order that comes under the state subject. On protecting rail passengers, the Bihar government has also completely failed. What more ridiculous can there be on the part of Railways than providing the unarmed Railway Protection Force, numbering only five in the train Lal Quila in which the dacaoity was committed at the station infested with naxalites? A large group of armed robbers struck the Sealdah-New Delhi Lal Quila Express , fired at GRP personnel, assaulted passengers and looted them a halt in Bihar’s Lakhisarai district, leaving 21 people, including a jawan, injured. To become enraged over the incident is natural. Passengers, mostly kanwarias (devotees of Lord Shiva), shouted slogans and ransacked the office of the station master in Kiul.Around 35 robbers had boarded the train at Jamui station and walked into AC and sleeper coaches of the train and started looting cash and valuables, including jewellery and mobile phones worth Rs 2.50 lakh, from the passengers.As the unarmed GRP personnel resisted them, they opened fire critically wounding one of them.Passengers travelling on the reserved berths, besides the kanwariyas were assaulted by the robbers with butts of pistols and rifles when they refused to part with their belongings. Four robbers had earlier boarded the train at Jamui railway station, but passengers and the jawans overpowered them and caught two of them.The other two who managed to escape, alerted their accomplices and the robbery took place at the next halt. This is the sheer negligence of the Railway ministry. There are 275 trains that need security in Bihar, only 15 per cent are patrolled by the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and the rest by the Bihar Police.Railway ministry must wake-up