New Delhi: With incidents of drugging of passengers in trains continuing unabated, Railway Protection Force has sought the intervention of the Drug Controller General of India to curb the availability of low cost sedatives at medical stores.
In a letter to the drug controlling authority, RPF has raised the issue of increasing drugging of passengers on board trains and mentioned that several arrested criminals had conceded to using low-cost sedatives, bought from chemists without producing any prescription, to drug and rob travellers.
According to a senior Northern Railway official, 51 such cases were reported during the last six months in Northern Railway alone, while 265 cases of drugging and loot were registered in 2011 and 122 in 2010.
"We have arrested 62 people involved in drugging cases in the last six months," the official, who is part of the anti- drugging squad, said, adding that 133 people were arrested last year.
He said the highest number of such cases are reported from trains bound for eastern states like Bihar, Odisha and West Bengal.
RPF has identified vulnerable trains and stations, and special attention is being paid to these areas to avoid recurrence of such cases.
"We have undertaken a constant awareness campaign to educate passengers about the drugging menace through posters and pamphlets. We also make regular announcements at stations to alert passengers," the official said.
Admitting the drugging problem was "acute", the official said anti-drugging squads have been specifically formed to detect and prevent such crimes in railway premises.
"All-out efforts are being made by RPF in coordination with the Government Railway Police and city police to collect and share criminal intelligence," the official said.
He said dossiers of culprits involved in drugging cases have been circulated to all police stations.
"Besides, regular coordination meetings are held between local police and GRP for better exchange of intelligence and formulation of a joint strategy to contain the menace," the official said.