Mumbai’s railway police are busy fighting with the Railway Protection Force (RPF) to get access to CCTV footage of cameras installed at railway stations.
While each railway station is fitted with closed-circuit cameras to monitor the security situation, the railway police don’t have access and are dependent on camera technicians and the RPF to hand over footage.
However, railway police say they are given a hard time by the RPF when they need the footage for investigations. Shivaji Dhumal, senior police inspector, Kurla railway police station said, “While investigating crimes that occur on the railway premise, we need to study CCTV footage urgently to follow culprits or gather evidence. The RPF does not seem to understand the urgency. We have to wait for hours.” Technicians, who are required to process the footage are also seldom available. “They end up hampering the investigations,” Dhumal said.
These complaints were elaborated in letters (a copy of which is with dna) that the railway police have written to the RPF’s assistant security commissioner and top brass at the railway police.
While the Mumbai railway police are a part of the Maharashtra government security system responsible for curbing crime and maintaining law and order, the RPF is the security agency under the central government. Currently, the RPF monitors CCTV cameras on the railway premises, which is causing the turf war.
CR Railway Protection Force’s divisional security commissioner Alok Bohra said, “These are false allegations. We co-operate with the railway police. You may come to my office on Monday and check records for yourself,” he told dna.
Caught between the two security forces and their tiff, commuters continue to suffer. Last month, when an American national was allegedly attacked and robbed in a local train, sources said the RPF and railway police constable wasted precious minutes arguing about who should accompany the bleeding victim to the hospital. This after Governor K Sankaranarayanan summoned top officers of both railway security agencies to Raj Bhavan last month to chalk out a plan a to curb crime on trains and ensure safe travel especially for women.