|‘Inadequate manpower, surveillance in railway police affecting security’|
GUWAHATI, July 13 - Top officials of Assam Police and Northeast Frontier Railways (NFR) today admitted to manpower crunch in the Government Railway Police (GRP) and the Railway Protection Force (RPF), besides inadequate surveillance coverage, which has posed a hindrance to the existing security mechanism.
Shockingly, only 12 railway stations in Assam are under close-circuit television (CCTV) camera surveillance. The lack of concern for women’s safety is also evident from the fact that of the 2,500 RPF personnel, only 26 are women.
This comes close on the heels of two back-to-back rape and murder cases on two trains within a span of 24 hours in upper Assam under Tinsukia division of the NFR. Police have arrested both the accused involved in the gruesome incidents, who have been identified as Bikash Das and Bipin Pandey.
At a joint press conference here today, Director General of Assam Police Kula Saikia said that the gap between the sanctioned strength and the actual strength was substantial which they needed to address.
A similar statement was echoed by NFR’s Chief Security Commissioner MM Mishra, who while admitting to manpower shortage in the RPF, conceded that only 12 railway stations in Assam were under the surveillance of CCTV cameras.
Earlier, DGP Saikia informed that both the cases have been registered with the GRP, although a joint team comprising officers from the district police and the RPF has been constituted. He also said investigators recovered ornaments and belongings of both the victims from the possession of the accused.
“Both the accused committed the murders together after sexually assaulting the victims. The victims were murdered so that no clue is left behind. Police are trying to unearth the previous records of both the accused,” he said.