Railway staff in the field and at remote places are in constant fear of criminal attacks on them by miscreants, a railway workers union has said, demanding CCTV cameras at level crossing gates, days after a gateman was attacked at one such gate in north Delhi.
Last Monday, three men on a bike severed the hands of a gateman after he refused to open a level crossing gate in north Delhi’s Narela area because a train was approaching, railway officials had said.
The National Federation of Indian Railwaymen (NFIR) have written to Chairman Railway Board, Ashwani Lohani, alleging that no adequate action has been taken by the concerned law and order authorities to deter the miscreants.
The letter dated September 19 stated two recent incidents. One being that of gateman Kundan Pathak whose hands were severed in the attack in north Delhi’s Narela area and later reattached and another attack on a TTE of South Central Railway (Secunderabad Division) by a group of people who allegedly routinely threaten staff and travel without tickets.
“The railway staff who performs duties in the field and at remote places are developing constant fear of criminal attacks on them by the miscreants.
“In order to maintain the morale of staff it would be necessary to urge upon the concerned high level authorities who are accountable for maintaining law and order situation to take effective measures. So far as level crossing gates are concerned, provision of CCTV cameras may be considered seriously to facilitate detecting the culprits for further action,” the letter stated.
Source said the plan to install CCTV cameras at manned level crossings was suggested almost six months ago after a meeting of zonal railways with the Railway Board as a measure to provide security to the gatemen who are usually alone at odd hours at isolated areas.
Railways has more than 19,000 manned level crossings across its network. As a pilot project, CCTV cameras were installed at 11 manned gates at the South Central Railway zone.
However, despite recommendations, the plan to expand it to all manned crossings never materialised, the source said.