New Delhi, Apr 20 (UNI) Tasked with providing security to rail travellers, a section of GRP personnel in Uttar Pradesh has instead been ''looting'' passengers of the Bihar-bound trains, forcing the Railway Ministry to take a stern view of it.
Railway Board sources told UNI that the Railway officials, who tried to expose this crime, were beaten up by some Government Railway Police (GRP) personnel, who also threatened to kill them.
According to the sources, the modus operandi of the GRP personnel was to forcibly extract money from passengers under the pretext of inspecting their tickets.
The nefarious activity was exposed when officials of the Lucknow Division raided Gonda station in Lucknow on the intervening night of April 17-18 while personnel of Gonda police station, in plainclothes, were trying to extract money from the passengers aboard the Bihar-bound Jan Sewa Express.
''The police personnel, masquerading as looters, even trained their guns on the railway officials,'' the sources said, adding that such a crime had been going on since a long time.
The report sent to the Railway Board points out that the Divisional Railway Manager (DRM), Lucknow Division, had received a spate of complaints of robbery and coercion of passengers by GRP personnel at Gonda station, especially in general compartments of the Bihar-bound trains coming from Punjab and Mumbai.
Acting on the complaints of several commuters that they were regularly robbed of their belongings by a few miscreants, an inspection team, jointly led by Anjani Kumar Sinha, Senior Divisional Safety Commissioner, Lucknow, and Financial Commissioner, Lucknow Division, was sent to Gonda on April 17.
''The team had a first hand experience of the crime. When Jan Sewa Express arrived at Gonda station at 0257 hrs, some people entered a general compartment. They started demanding money from the passengers after tearing their tickets. Those who resisted were thrashed,'' the sources said.
On inquiry from the inspection team, they first said they were constables of Gonda police station. When asked to produce their identity cards, they said they were GRP personnel.
Under the rule, GRP personnel cannot inspect tickets.
MORE UNI SKS LS DS1532