The Railway Police – Protectors of Mumbai’s Lifeline

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Intro  – 

The Mumbai Railway Police provide daily services to about seven million commuters on the Central, Harbour and Western Railway Lines. Its jurisdiction extends from CSMT to Kasara and Khopoli, CSMT to Panvel, and Churchgate to Bordi Road Railway Station.

The Mumbai Railway Police Commissionerate came into existence on October 2, 1999. After its formation, the post of Commissioner of Police was upgraded to the rank of Spl. Inspector-General of Police in 2007. The Railway Police is entrusted with the responsibility of registration, investigation and prosecution of crime while maintaining law and order within its jurisdiction. The Mumbai Railway Police has a Crime Branch, a Cyber Cell, a full-fledged Bomb Detection & Destruction Squad, a Dog Squad, a Riot Control Police and a Quick Response Team to assist the police stations.

A well-equipped Control Room provides necessary assistance 24×7. The Mumbai Railway Police provide daily services to about seven million commuters on the Central, Harbour and Western Railway Lines. Its jurisdiction extends from CSMT to Kasara and Khopoli, CSMT to Panvel, and Churchgate to Bordi Road Railway Station.

To create a safe and secured environment, the Railway Police serves 70 lakh commuters daily. The Mumbai Railway Police has its jurisdiction spread over 476 km. It is further divided into Central and Western Zones for better policing. Their jurisdiction starts from Churchgate to Bordi Railway Station on the Western Line, CSMT to Kasara and Khopoli on Central Line, and CSMT to Panvel on the Harbour Line.

The Railway Police’s manpower consists of one CP, three DCsP, seven ACPs, 52 Police Inspectors, 38 Assistant Police Inspectors, 138 Police Sub Inspectors and 3780 Police Constabulary. Around 2000 Home Guards and 150 Maharashtra Security Force (MSF) are also part of the daily duty. Under the leadership of Ravindra Sengoankar (IPS), Commissioner of Police, the Railway Police are putting in all their efforts in providing utmost security to commuters while also maintaining law and order.

Initiatives 1512 Helpline

The Mumbai Local Railway is known as the lifeline of Mumbai as it carries 75 to 80 lakh passengers through six terminus, 137 railway stations, 469 railway platforms and 2730 daily local trips. Apart from this, 125 trains run daily from Mumbai to various cities in the State, and 125 long-distance trains enter Mumbai daily.

Mumbai is the financial capital of the country where its citizens work round the clock. The city also attracts thousands of new passengers from different cities and States of India every day. The number of women and children is also huge, so is the high number of criminals taking advantage of the crowd. For the convenience and safety of all passengers, a helpline – 1512 – was started by the Mumbai Railway Police on October 2, 2017.

The location of all the officers and staff on duty on each platform of each railway station is accessed to the control room through an R-Track system. Any passenger travelling by any train can call 1512 in case of emergency or difficulty. As soon as such a call is received and even before the train reaches the next station, the officers rush to the aid of the passenger facing difficulty. Reports are also made to the main control room after the problem is resolved.

In 2017, 2018 and 2019, 8312, 17,099 and 22,162 calls respectively were received. Each caller’s problem was also resolved. Emergency services were provided, especially for women and children. This is probably the first Commissionerate in the country to have such a service.

The Mumbai Railway Police Commissionerate jurisdiction has a huge number of accidental deaths. Due to the efforts of the officers and staff of the Mumbai Railway Police Commissionerate as well as the assistance provided by the Railways, 1651 accidents were reported in 2017, 1619 in 2018, 1455 in 2019, and 422 at the end of August 2020. This is a precautionary measure taken by the Mumbai Railway Police Commissionerate. Crimes against women and important property crimes account for more than 90% of crimes recorded by the Commissionerate. The conviction rate in first-class courts is 94% and the Sessions Court has 60%. As many as 1500 properties have been returned to the complainant in the last one year due to special efforts made to return them to the plaintiffs. There are, however, 4018 pending cases.

R-Track Duty System

In the past, mobile phones were provided at every railway station to help passengers in case of any inconvenience. After the passenger call the control room for help, the staff of the concerned station would be contacted on the given mobile phone number. The problem of the passenger would be reported. This made it difficult for passengers to get immediate help. This dilemma is now solved with the launch of the R-Track system. All stations and personnel on duty log in through the R-Track system. The location of the logged-in employee is displayed in the control room.

After the passenger calls the helpline – 1512, the staff at the nearest location is contacted by the control room and a conference call is made to the passenger who requested help. This helpline is a boon to passengers and staff as they can help an injured person on time, retrieve and store for safekeeping forgotten bags or mobile phones lying on the railway tracks. Their performance is publicized through a police notice and a reward is given to the officer concerned. Due to this good initiative, the effectiveness of this system is increasing day by day and passengers are deeply satisfied with its service.

M-Police Duty System

Ever since work duties were assigned using this system, officers who are late for duty are disciplined. Besides, all police officers and personnel get to see their service records, their appointments since joining the Force, daily police notices, important public messages, salary sheets and even their confidential remarks. All their minor leaves are also sanctioned through this system. Today, this system is successfully implemented in the entire Commissionerate of Police.

ADR (AD Report Mumbai Railway Police) APP

Passengers travelling on suburban trains often deviate from safety rules by crossing the railway line or by risking their lives hanging on to doors of crowded local coaches. The number of unidentified persons in such accidents is high. It is a matter of concern for the Railway Police as well as from a humanitarian point of view when a deceased person is not identified and when his family members are not being notified and identified.

After completing the search operation in the local area, the search operation then goes beyond the railway boundary, but due to the wide scope of work, it is difficult for family members to visit every police station and search for their missing family member. Considering this matter and with the concept and guidance of Additional Director General of Police, Lohmarg, Maharashtra, Mumbai, the AD Report Mumbai Railway Police System has been officially launched in the Mumbai Commissionerate of Lohmarg on February 7, 2020.

Police Notice

The subject matter of the police notice issued on the establishment of Lohmarg Mumbai Commissionerate was related to the Establishment Branch and its related limited branch which did not reach all the officers/executives. But since July 2019, radical changes have been made in the police notices and daily police notices are being published in the Railway Police Commissionerate and distributed to all officers and employees. Now, every incident – good and bad – that falls under the jurisdiction of the Railway Commissioner are known to everyone without any delay.

Now, important circulars are issued by the Government and the Office of the Director-General of Police daily, starting from inspiring ideas to police notices, newspaper clippings, good performance by police officers/officers, accused caught in the Commissionerate, crimes committed, planned coverage, rewards for officers and their decisions are posted in the Police Notice. Today, it has become the mouthpiece of the Mumbai Commissionerate.

Seized Assets

The issue was taken up at all police stations under the Railway Police Commissionerate after reviewing the assets seized in various investigation cases. Under this initiative, a program was organized in the hall of the Railway Police Headquarters, Ghatkopar, to distribute the asset to the respective owner on the occasion of Gudi Padwa and Makar Sankranti. It was also widely covered by the media, which helped in raising the image of the Mumbai Railway Police in the minds of the people. Awards were also given to the officers/executives for their outstanding work. As a result, a large number of assets are returned to the rightful owners. A limited amount of assets is left in the entire Commissionerate and this is being worked on continuously.

Darbar with CP/Weekly Parade/Rewards Scheme for Excellence

While working in the police force, there are two groups of senior and junior officers and executives. Following this, the Commissioner of Police created an initiative known as Darbar/Tea with CP where police officers attached to the Railway Unit meets the Commissioner and gives a detailed update about any situation. In this meeting, public issues and administrative problems are discussed. To get rid of misconceptions and work as a team with one heart, the first thing to do is to take a closer look at the problem. “Tea with CP is a great initiative taken up by our CP Sir. Under this initiative, all the police officers meet the Commissioner and discuss the issues faced by them during the month. The meeting is conducted with a sip of tea in a healthy environment,” said a police officer attached to the Railway Unit.

Previously, due to the long hours of duty, ongoing festivals and other important arrangements, officers do not get time to focus on their physical development or health. For this, an exercise parade is organized every Tuesday and Friday at Ghatkopar HQ to rejuvenate police personnel. It was after a long time that this type of parade was conducted, and officials were encouraged to be part of it. The record of good performance of the officers/executives and the prompt approval of good deeds have increased their loyalty and duty to perform well.

In-service Training Sessions/External Training/Reading Library Creation

While working in the police force, most officers and executives, especially in the Mumbai Railway Police Force, are compelled to undergo training. Some trainings were organized at the Commissionerate level while some were pursued for other states. As a result, changes in the police force and speedy investigations did not reach most of the officers working at the constabulary level. In-service training sessions and training sessions conducted by various units in the State and selection of all officers who meet the rules and regulations for training in outstations are now being conducted at the Commissionerate level. As a result of such trainings, positive results are being seen.

To motivate officers, a small library has been set up in some police stations to help them acquire good investigative knowledge during their spare time. This will be implemented at all police stations. Novels and books written by well-known authors will be available for reading. This will change the mindset of police officers.

Citizen Talk

Mumbai local trains are a lifeline of the city. As thousands of people travel on a daily basis, commuter’s security becomes the most important topic. I have to say that the Government Railway Police is doing its level best in assisting travellers in every way possible. Cops who are deployed at the railway stations are always available to help us in any situation.

Vivek Kadam, Student and a Commuter on the Western Railway Line.

I had once lost my mobile phone while travelling by train, following which I lodged a complaint at the Vasai Railway Police Station. I had lost all hope of getting the phone back as these thieves are mostly untraceable. After a few months, I received a call from the Railway Police. They were able to trace the accused and arrested. I was finally reunited with my phone. Kudos to the Railway Police for their efficiency and persistent follow-up.

Prakash Sharma, Sales Executive and a Commuter from Nalasopara.

One of my friends had forgotten his bag on the train. The train had left the station by the time he realized his folly. The bag contained his ID, important documents and his academic certificates. He immediately informed a GRP officer at the police station. I was quite surprised to see the quick response of the Railway Police, who within minutes, traced the train and retrieved the bag at the next stop. The bag was successfully returned to my friend.

Nitesh Poojari, Journalist.

Women safety is an important issue as there have been innumerable cases of robbery and eve-teasing on local trains. We now see police officers in every ladies compartment at night, due to which, such scary incidents have come to a halt. The Railway Police is doing a great job. We feel secure knowing they are around.

Snehal Patil, Banker and a Commuter from Bhayander to Churchgate.