Screenings will continue from Monday to Thursday
Every man, woman and child, travelling to and from Churchgate and Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway stations on Sunday, was frisked and asked to walk through metal detectors as part of a terror management exercise by the police.
Since it was a weekly off for most professionals and businessmen, the foot traffic was light at both stations. But, on an average, more than 3,500 people per minute enter and exit each of the stations every day.
“Frisking this sea of humanity is next to impossible,” admits a senior Railway Protection Force (RFP) officer. “To avoid being swamped, we decided to start our frisking exercise from Sunday when the rush would be relatively less and the police could assess how checking could be made efficient on week days.”
In an effort to avert terror attacks like the July 11 train bombings and to strengthen the security apparatus, the railway police is planning to install high-tech machines and equipment.
“There cannot be a full-proof solution for terror attacks,” says Suresh Khopade, police commissioner (railways). “But there can definitely be measures to prevent such happenings in the future.”
From Monday, over 500 personnel from the Government Railway Police (GRP), RPF and the city police will check passengers entering both Churchgate and CST stations on Western and Central Railway. The drive will be carried out during evening peak rush hours between 5pm and 7pm at Churchgate on Monday and Tuesday while passengers at CST will be checked on Wednesday and Thursday.
“Besides the equipment like the door-frame metal detector and hand-held metal detectors, we will also use dog squads and X-ray machines to check baggage,” says Khopade.
The police, state intelligence wing, Intelligence Bureau and CISF have also been roped in to conduct the joint frisking operations.